Hanover men bounce back with 77-69 win at Manchester

Nick White goes up for shot

NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - Four players finished in double figures as the Hanover men's basketball team rebounded from a tough loss earlier in the week for a 77-69 win over Manchester in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action Saturday afternoon. 

The Panthers have now followed each of their four losses with a win this season and are now 9-4 overall and improve to 4-2 in the HCAC. The Spartans remain winless in conference play and are now 2-11 overall and 0-6 in the league. 

Six different players scored in the first 6:27 to give Hanover a 14-7 lead, but 10 unanswered points by Manchester gave the Spartans a 17-14 advantage just under nine minutes into the contest.  

Junior Cam Fails (Mason, Ohio) tied the game at 19 with a lay-up, only to see Manchester score four of the next five points for a four-point lead at the 8:36 mark. The Blue and Red answered with a 10-1 run to go in front by five and would push the lead to nine by the end of the half for a 41-32 lead at the intermission. The Panthers committed only two turnovers in the first 20 minutes and shot 51.6% (16-31) from the field. 

Down 48-37 Manchester used an 11-2 run to cut the deficit to only two points with 13:17 to play. Senior Wes McKinney (Batesville, Ind.) scored five of Hanover's next nine points to help push the lead back to seven just over midway through the second half.

Four straight points by the Spartans made it a three-point game, but a three-pointer by freshman Isaac Hibbard (New Albany, Ind.) followed by a Fails' jumper gave the Panthers a 64-56 lead.

Manchester would not go away and continued to chip away. With 4:33 remaining a pair of Spartan free throws made it a two-point game at 69-67, but that's as close as they would get. McKinney hit a jumper and Fails knocked down six free throws while Manchester made only one of its final six shots for the eight-point defeat.

After scoring 22 points Wednesday against Rose-Hulman, Fails followed that performance with a 19-point effort on six-of-nine shooting. He also made seven of his nine free throw attempts and had four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Junior Nick White (New Albany, Ind.) posted another strong effort with 16 points and five rebounds. McKinney added 15 points, and Hibbard chipped in 12 in his second collegiate start. 

The Panthers will return home for another HCAC contest against Earlham Wednesday, Jan. 10. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. in Collier Arena. 

Contact: Mike Pritchard