Vikings dispatched by top-ranked Homestead

Vikings dispatched by top-ranked Homestead
Posted on 03/03/2021
Will Hotchkiss fights his way to the hoop through two Homestead defendersThe 2020–21 season came to a close for the Huntington North boys basketball team on Tuesday night, as the Vikings fell 62–37 to No. 1 Homestead in the Columbia City Sectional Quarterfinals.

The Spartans came out of the gates ready to show why they earned a flawless 22–0 record in the regular season, racing out to a quick 8–2 lead midway through the opening quarter. Huntington North stopped the bleeding momentarily, but Homestead would again post an 8–2 stretch, this time to close the frame for an 18–9 lead entering the second quarter.

“We had the tempo we needed in the first quarter, but we gave up a couple (offensive) boards they scored on, turned the ball over at the halfcourt line (and) they got out in (transition),” said head coach Craig Teagle. “If it was 12–9, then we’re right where we need to be, but missing the blockouts and then turning it over and giving up that layup really hurt us.”

Play evened out at the beginning of the second stanza, but the Spartans would yet again put together a strong run, finishing the quarter on a 7–0 streak to bring a sizable 34–17 advantage into the locker room at halftime.

Homestead kept its collective foot on the pedal in the third quarter, outscoring Huntington North by a 12–9 margin to extend the gap to 20 points at 46–26 heading into the last period.

The Vikings refused to go down quietly, opening the fourth quarter with a 5–1 run, but the Spartans would slam the door with a 10–0 stretch midway through the stanza to put the final nail in Huntington North’s coffin, cruising down the stretch to a convincing 62–37 victory.

“I love my group,” Teagle said. “Awesome kids, fought and worked all the time, and even this game, when they pulled away, we made a little run and fought back. That’s how they’ve been all year.”

Sam Thompson led the way for the Vikes with 11 points, while Will Hotchkiss and Zach Hubartt tied for second on the team with nine points apiece.

Cam McCarver tallied seven points for Huntington North and dished out a pair of assists to lead all Vikings. McCarver also reeled in five rebounds, tying Austin Oswalt for the team lead. Noah Zahn capped the scoring for the Vikes with one point.

Though not scoring, Garrett Palmer completed Huntington North’s senior trio by recording 1:56 of playing time down the stretch for the Vikings.

“Sam Thompson, him and Noah Zahn and Garrett Palmer love basketball,” Teagle said of his seniors. “That’s all they ever thought about. Sammy has a mindset like mine; it’s basketball first. He always gave us everything he had; got to play a little bit on the varsity (team) as a sophomore, then (was a) two-year starter. Good scorer; had to run the point for us, and really, he’d be more an off-guard, but we just didn’t have a point, and he did a fabulous job. Noah Zahn loves basketball, will do anything you ask him to do, great leader—not only in the locker room, but on the floor—just so intelligent and such a great teammate. And then Garrett Palmer; Garrett never missed a thing. Garrett shows up for everything, gave you everything he had; undersized a little bit, but that didn’t bother him; he’s gonna fight and battle. Those three kids are wonderful young men and I’ve loved coaching them.”

Turnovers proved costly for Huntington North in the loss, as Homestead converted 12 Viking turnovers into 16 points. The Spartans also capitalized on their second-chance opportunities, picking up seven points thanks to seven offensive boards.

Fletcher Loyer asserted his dominance throughout the night for Homestead, scorching the nets for a game-best 28 points, 21 of which came in the first half. The Purdue University commit also doled out five helpers for the Spartans. Loyer would sink four shots from beyond the arc to help fuel a shooting gallery from three-point land for Homestead, as the Spartans racked up 30 points from deep throughout the night.

“When it comes down to it, the Loyer kid played like a Division I player,” Teagle said. “The game just looks easy for him. We talked to our kids about that. That’s because that kid’s in a gym seven days a week working out two or three hours every day, and we gotta do that. We gotta commit to that. If you want to be at the next level, then we have to commit to working on our skills a lot more and working together.”

University of Illinois signee Luke Goode also made his presence felt in the contest, sinking 12 points and matching Loyer’s five assists for game-high honors. Goode also grabbed four rebounds and swatted away two Huntington North shots in over 30 minutes of work.

Andrew Leeper completed the scoring podium for Homestead with nine points while recording game-leading marks of six rebounds and four blocks.

The loss capped Huntington North’s season record at 12–7, while the victory advanced the Spartans (23–0) to the Columbia City Sectional Semifinals where they will square off with South Side on Friday night.

Huntington North Vikings vs. Homestead Spartans
March 2, 2021 at Columbia City
Huntington North 37, Homestead 62

Huntington North
Sam Thompson 4-7 2-4 11; Zach Hubartt 4-14 0-2 9; Will Hotchkiss 4-8 0-0 9; Cam McCarver 3-3 1-2 7; Noah Zahn 0-1 1-2 1; Jacob Daugherty 0-1 0-0 0; Austin Oswalt 0-2 0-0 0; Garrett Palmer 0-0 0-0 0; Tiler Carr 0-0 0-0 0; Wyatt Dohrman 0-1 0-0 0; Ashton Hosler 0-0 0-0 0; Dillon Trout 0-0 0-0 0; Totals 15-37 4-10 37.

Fletcher Loyer 11-14 2-2 28; Luke Goode 5-13 0-0 12; Andrew Leeper 4-5 0-1 9; Grant Simmons 2-8 2-2 8; Quinn Harmon 1-2 0-0 3; Kaleb Kolpien 0-0 2-4 2; Caeden Kaopuiki 0-0 0-0 0; Kyron Kaopuiki 0-0 0-0 0; Grady Swing 0-0 0-0 0; Lucas Marcum 0-0 0-0 0; Totals 23-42 6-9 62.

Huntington North 9 8 9 11 37
Homestead 18 16 12 16 62

Three-point goals: Huntington North 3-11 (Zach Hubartt 1-5; Sam Thompson 1-2; Will Hotchkiss 1-2; Jacob Daugherty 0-1; Austin Oswalt 0-1), Homestead 10-23 (Fletcher Loyer 4-7; Luke Goode 2-6; Grant Simmons 2-6; Quinn Harmon 1-2; Andrew Leeper 1-2). Fouled out: Huntington North None, Homestead None. Rebounds: Huntington North 20 (Austin Oswalt 5; Cam McCarver 5), Homestead 26 (Andrew Leeper 6). Assists: Huntington North 7 (Cam McCarver 2), Homestead 16 (Fletcher Loyer 5; Luke Goode 5). Total Fouls: Huntington North 10, Homestead 10.
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