SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – The No. 16 Hanover men's basketball team had seven players tally eight or more points as they wrapped up play at the Wittenberg (Ohio) Kiwanis Classic Saturday with a 93-54 victory over Ohio-Chillicothe.
The Panthers (8-3) had 12 different players score in the win and were led by senior Wes McKinney (Batesville, Ind.), who tallied 17 points and eight rebounds, playing just 17 minutes. McKinney was efficient offensively, making 7-of-11 tries en route to earning all-tournament accolades.
With OU-Chillicothe (5-9) only having six players in uniform, Hanover used its depth to its advantage, enjoying a 49-0 advantage in bench points. Sophomore Blake Robertson (Greenfield, Ind.) and freshman Connor Washburn (Indianapolis, Ind.) both came off the bench to post career highs with 15 and 12 points respectively. Freshman Isaac Hibbard (New Albany, Ind.) also added nine points in a reserve role.
Robertson scored nine of his points in the second half and drained 5-of-7 attempts from long range. Washburn was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field, playing 11 second half minutes.
Sophomore Logan Ratts (Martinsville, Ind.) stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, four rebounds and three assists. Classmate Kevin Williams (Edinburgh, Ind.) entered Saturday with four career assists, but double his total with four helpers against the Hilltoppers.
Juniors Cam Fails (Mason, Ohio) and Nick White (New Albany, Ind.) combined 17 points. Fails logged four steals, giving him at least three swipes in three straight games. White added seven rebounds, his highest total in the month of December.
The Blue and Red never trailed against OU-C, posting a 10-2 run over the opening five minutes of play. McKinney and White each logged four points during the game-opening spurt.
Hanover later took a 33-13 lead, its largest advantage of the half, with 7:32 left before the intermission. The Hilltoppers were able to close the deficit to 14 points, but HC pushed it back out to 20 points, 44-24, as the first half expired.
Behind the scoring efforts of McKinney and Fails, Hanover recorded the opening 10 points of the second half to push its lead to 30 points, 54-24, with 17:07 remaining. The Panther lead continued to grow, ballooning to as many as 41 points, 86-45, with just over five minutes left to play.
Hanover shot over 55 percent in both halves, including a 20-for-33 (.606) effort in the second half. Overall, HC finished with a .582 shooting clip, while OU-C tallied a .404 field goal percentage.
The Blue and Red's strong shooting was thanks in large part to its play down low, where they held a 56-32 edge in points in the paint. The Panthers also turned 20 Hilltopper turnovers into 29 points.
Hanover has now concluded the non-conference portion of its schedule, and will return to HCAC play in the New Year. Next time out, the Panthers will welcome Rose-Hulman for a 7:30 p.m. tip, Wednesday, Jan. 3.
Contact: Tyler Jester