HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover men's basketball team remained perfect as they defeated Franklin on the opening night of Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action, 70-51. With the win, Hanover has now claimed six straight HCAC opening game victories.
The Blue and Red (5-0 overall, 1-0 HCAC) saw three players finish in double figures with junior Isaac Hibbard (New Albany, Ind.) pacing the way. The junior netted a team-high 17 points while pulling in eight rebounds and dishing out six assists. Senior Kevin Williams (Edinburgh, Ind.) added 16 points while senior Logan Ratts (Martinsville, Ind.) chipped in 15.
The opening half saw a back-an-forth battle with neither team able to gain ground until a senior Kevin Williams three-pointer gave HC the slight 11-8 advantage. But the lead didn't last long as Franklin strung together a pair of jumpers at the 11:59 mark for the one-point surge. However, over a span of six minutes the Blue and Red were able to pull away rattling off 10 straight points paced by Ratts for the 25-15 cushion. Hibbard went to work late as he hit a layup followed by a free throw in the final seconds putting HC on top 30-25 at the intermission.
The second half opened with a 13-0 Panther run sparked by a Ratts layup and capped off by a Kevin Williams duce at the 14:22 mark, 44-25. Franklin attempted a comeback netting six straight points over a two-minute span before junior Mark Albers (Pendleton, Ind.) stopped the Grizzlies dead in their tracks. Sophomore Carlos Garcia (Mason, Ohio) would seal the contest with the Panthers final three-point dagger to secure the perfect 5-0 mark.
Hanover returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 7 when they play host to HCAC opponent Manchester. Tip-off is set for 3 PM.