HANOVER, Ind. – The Blue and Red saw three players finish in double figures as they defeated Manchester in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action on Saturday afternoon to remain unbeaten, 65-56. With the win, the Panthers have now defeated Manchester in nine straight matchups including a perfect home record dating back to the 2010-11 campaign.
The Panthers (6-0 overall, 2-0 HCAC) were led by senior Kevin Williams (Edinburgh, Ind.) with a season-high and game-high 22 points, while teammates junior Isaac Hibbard (New Albany, Ind.) added 19 points and junior Mark Albers (Pendleton, Ind.) chipped in 10 points. Hibbard also pulled in eight rebounds while dishing out eight assists.
The Blue and Red found themselves trailing early as the Spartans charged ahead with an 8-0 run capped off by a layup at the 12:58 mark, 13-5. The momentum shifted as Hibbard and Albers connected for back-to-back three-pointers to put Manchester in panic mode.
Hanover claimed the lead with 5:56 remaining off a Kevin Williams jumper in the paint but Manchester hung around finding key scores in the final two minutes. Senior Blake Robertson (Greenfield, Ind.) delivered the final blow before intermission giving HC the slight 29-26 advantage.
The Panthers came out firing in the second half as Kevin Williams scored the Blue and Reds first six points to push the difference to 35-29. But the Spartans kept hanging around as back-to-back scores with 13:35 remaining pulled them within four, 40-36. However, the Panthers remained poise and strung together a key 8-0 run to extend the advantage to double digits, 48-36. This more than sealed the deal as a junior Connor Washburn (Fishers, Ind.) jumper and Hibbard layup with just over two minutes remaining propelled the Blue and Red to victory, 65-56.
Hanover returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 14 as they travel to north to take on HCAC foe Defiance in a battle of unbeaten. Tip-off is set for 3 PM.