MANCHESTER, Ind. – The Hanover men's basketball team dropped a competitive Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference matchup at Manchester, falling to the Spartans 61-51.
As a team, the Blue and Red (14-5 overall, 8-4 HCAC) finished the afternoon shooting 19-for-58 (.328) from the floor with a game-high 46 rebounds. Leading the charge was freshman Ty Houston (Union,Ky.) scoring a game-high of 14 points, while teammate junior Isaac Hibbard (New Albany, Ind.) pulled in 10 rebounds.
After a Houston three-pointer to open the contest, the Spartans rattled off seven straight points for the early advantage. However, the Panthers came storming back as a junior Connor Washburn (Fishers, Ind.) rebound and lay in knotted the contest.
The next few minutes proved critical for Manchester as they hit a pair of three-pointers with just under 10 minutes remaining in the opening half to capture the 18-14 lead. The home court momentum continued for the Spartans as they strung together a small run that saw them push the difference. Hanover looked to keep pace but fell short in the first half as Manchester took the slim 28-21 lead into the break.
The second half saw the Spartans claim their largest lead of 12 just minutes into the period. Sophomore Matt Weimer (Georgetown, Ind.) looked to halt the charge as he delivered back-to-back blows that sparked a Panther run cutting the deficit to single digits. They continued to chip at the lead as senior Ryan Cloncs (Danville, Ind.) connected for a jumper before another Spartan three-point dagger crushed the momentum.
Manchester never looked back as they secured the victory at the free throw line down the stretch finishing the game shooting 12-for-17 (.706) en route to the HCAC triumph.
Hanover returns to action on Wednesday, February 5 as they travel to area rival Franklin. Tip-off is set for 7:30 P.M.