CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. – The Hanover men's basketball team exploded for 56 first half points en route to a 104-67 triumph over Akron-Wayne on Day One of the Thomas More (Ky.) Jim Connor Classic Friday.
For the second consecutive contest, the Panthers (2-0) jumped out to an early lead, 7-0, and were eventually led in scoring by freshman Zach Harp (Cincinnati, Ohio). Harp nailed a pair of three pointers during the opening run, while senior Cam Fails (Cincinnati, Ohio) opened the spurt with a free throw make.
Overall, Harp finished with 20 points, the most of his brief collegiate career. Doing most of his damage from behind the arc, the freshman was six-of-eight from long range, while shooting 7-of-12 from the field. He was also the lone Panther to record multiple steals.
Fails added a season-high 18 points, making seven of his 10 field goal attempts. Three players added nine points off the bench, including junior Connor Washburn (Fishers, Ind.), as well as freshmen Carlos Garcia (Mason, Ohio) and Addison True (Carthage, Ind.).
Despite the hot start, Hanover's lead was diminished quickly, as the Warriors (2-2) tied the game at seven-all. The Panther advantage was only two points midway through the opening half before the squad closed the final 9:57 on a 34-14 run. Fails had 12 of his 18 points during the half-ending run, as HC led 56-34 at the break.
Hanover then opened the second half with 10 of the first 13 points to extend the lead to 29 points, 66-37, with just under 18 minutes left to play. The Blue and Red held at least a 25-point advantage for the remainder of the contest, even expanding their lead to as many as 41 points with a little less than five minutes remaining.
The Panthers topped 100 points for the first time since the 2017-18 season opener against Kent State-Tuscarawas (Ohio). Friday's contest also marked just the fifth time under current head coach Jon Miller that the team eclipsed the century mark.
Overall, Hanover shot 49.3 percent from the field, making 37-of-75 field goal attempts. The squad also netted 14 shots from long range. Rebounds were heavily in favor of HC as well, 56-19, as were second chance points, 15-0.
Pacing the Panthers in rebounding was junior Christian Reed (Sellersburg, Ind.), who had eight boards in just nine minutes. Reed added five points as well.
Sophomore Isaac Hibbard (New Albany, Ind.) grabbed seven rebounds to go along with eight points and a team-high five assists. Washburn added seven rebounds also, to add to his nine points off the bench. The Blue and Red outscored the Warriors in bench points 55-22. \
Hanover will conclude play at the Jim Connor Classic on Saturday, Nov. 17, when they face the previously mentioned Kent State-Tuscarawas once again. The Panthers and Golden Eagles are slated for a 1 p.m. tip inside Thomas More's Connor Convocation Center.
Contact: Tyler Jester