Miners fight off Indians to win opener
by Ralph B. Davis
NEWTOWN – It was a successful debut for new head boys’ basketball coach Brad Napier on Tuesday night as the Miners of Mingo Central defeated visiting Sissonville 53- 45.
It wasn’t easy, but he’ll take it.
Napier’s squad played some tenacious defense and controlled the boards in grinding out the win. Mingo Central won despite some poor shooting.
The Miners led 11-9 after one quarter of play and 25-17 heading into the dressing room at the half.
Mingo Central senior point guard Austin Banks had 10 first half points to help his team to the early lead, while junior forward Alex “Booger” Lee chipped in six.
Trent Stowers led the Indians with seven points in the first two quarters.
The Miners continued to play tough in their season opener and led 38-31 after three quarters of play.
Marquis Cunningham had seven points in the third period to help Mingo Central maintain its lead. Six of those points were put-backs on offensive rebounds by the 6-foot-6 center.
The Miners led 44-36 midway through the final quarter when a Sissonville player was called for an intentional foul. However, Lee was called for a technical and both teams shot a pair of free throws and the Indians got possession of the basketball.
The Indians were able to cut the lead to 44-40, but Mingo Central made some a few key free throws down the stretch to pull out the win.
Banks led his team with 17 points, while Cunningham finished with 15 and Lee 11 for the home team. Matt Lester and Julius Hatcher each added four points, while Chase Hatfield added a basket for two points.
Cunningham pulled down 11 rebounds and blocked four shots for the Miners.
Stowers was the only Indian in double figures with 13 points, while Zack Null had nine, Anthony Bess seven and Nathan Miller six.
The Mingo Central Miners (1-0) will need to work on their free throw shooting. They only hit 50 percent at the line. Still, they were able to win the game and have some momentum to build on heading into Saturday night’s game at Tolsia.
Both team committed several turnovers, but that is to be expected early in the season.
Score by quarters:
SHS … 9 8 14 14 – 45
MC …. 11 14 12 15 – 53
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