News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 22, 2014

Duncan brothers too much for Terre Haute North

Aimone, Sandifer score 16 apiece for Patriots

Andy Amey
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — An abundance of Duncans for visiting Evansville Harrison proved to be too much for host Terre Haute North in high school basketball Saturday night, although the Patriots didn’t go down without a battle before finally losing 64-56.

 Senior all-state candidate Ernie Duncan had a game-high 17 points for the Warriors — who are finally enjoying having enough Duncans, coach Bryan Speer indicated afterward — while his junior twin brothers Stanley and Everett added 16 and 12 respectively.

Freshman Brandon Duncan played on the Harrison junior varsity, while a fifth brother is in eighth grade and shows great potential, Speer added.

The Duncans and the rest of the quick, feisty Warriors were almost not enough. The Patriots led much of the first half and were still ahead 35-34 when Charlie Aimone drained a 3-pointer with less than three minutes left in the third quarter.

North was within 40-39 in the waning seconds of that period when a foul on a rebound gave Harrison the ball under its own basket. Ernie Duncan swished a 3-pointer off the in-bounds play with 2.9 seconds left, opened the fourth quarter with another trey, then drove for a layup and suddenly the Patriots were behind 48-39 with less than seven minutes to go.

The home team responded with a 7-0 run on a 3-pointer by Aimone and inside baskets by Kobi Riley and Keshaun Sandifer — the bulk of the North offense on Saturday — to come within 48-46 and were within two on two other occasions. But Harrison hit 14 of 16 free throws in the fourth quarter — 16 of 18 for the game — and held the Patriots off.

For North, it was an encouraging performance after Friday night’s lesser one at Franklin Central. For the visiting Warriors, it was a good win and a sign that their team — which has been without Ernie Duncan some of the season — is approaching full strength at the right time.

“As disappointed as I was in our approach to the game and our effort last night, I’m very proud of our group of guys tonight,” coach Todd Woelfle of the Patriots said after the game. “We had a couple of lapses where we let Ernie Duncan get to the rim, but for the most part we battled and competed against a really good team.”

“We’ve dealt with a lot of injuries, and Ernie is still trying to get back to 100 percent,” said Speer, whose team’s eight losses is more than most people expected. “We’ve played some quality opponents, and right now we’re trying to focus on win No. 14 instead of the other side of it.

“To come on the bus and come here and win … we’re pleased to be able to do that,” Speer continued. “Coach Woelfle does as good a job as anybody.”

In a game with four ties and eight lead changes, North went up 12-10 on Riley’s basket in the last second of the first quarter and had a 7-0 second-quarter run for a 22-18 lead before the Warriors closed within 25-24 at intermission.

Eight Duncan points — a 3-pointer by Ernie, a trey and a 2-pointer by Stanley — enabled Harrison to take a 32-27 lead early in the third quarter, but North tied it up on a free throw by Riley and consecutive rebound baskets by Sandifer and Riley.

Sandifer and Aimone had 16 points each and Riley 15 points and a game-high seven rebounds before fouling out for North. Jackson Strong added 10 points for Harrison.

“Kobi did a nice job working for the basketball and our guys did a nice job getting him the ball,” Woelfle said. “Keshaun did a nice job on the offensive end, and defensively he held Ernie Duncan under his average.”

North’s starting lineup Saturday included its only two seniors, Austin Benson and Mitchell Dennany.

“I thought our guys played for our two seniors tonight,” Woelfle said afterward. “They are good people and good teammates.”

EVANSVILLE HARRISON (64) — Er.Duncan 6-12 1-2 17, S.Duncan 6-8 2-2 16, Ev.Duncan 3-7 6-6 12, Strong 2-5 6-7 10, Chestnut 0-2 0-0 0, Jennings 1-4 0-0 2, Schafer 1-1 1-1 3, O.Brown 2-2 0-0 4, Cunningham 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-41 FG, 16-18 FT, 64 TP.

TERRE HAUTE NORTH (56) — Aimone 4-12 4-4 16, Benson 0-0 0-0 0, Sandifer 6-10 4-5 16, Dennany 1-2 1-2 4, D.Brown 1-1 0-0 2, Poore 0-1 0-0 0, Riley 6-7 3-6 15, Farmer 1-3 1-1 3, Kurashima 0-1 0-0 0, Wolaver 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-37 FG, 13-18 FT, 56 TP.

Evansville Harrison    10    14    19    21    —    64

Terre Haute North    12    13    14    17    —    56

3-point shooting — EH 6-13 (Er.Duncan 4-6, S.Duncan 2-3, Ev.Duncan 0-1, Chestnut 0-1, Strong 0-2), THN 5-14 (Aimone 4-10, Dennany 1-1, Kurashima 0-1, Farmer 0-2). Total fouls — EH 16, THN 21. Fouled out — Riley. Turnovers — EH 13, THN 15. Rebounds — EH 24 (Ev.Duncan 5), THN 21 (Riley 7, Sandifer 4, D.Brown 3, Aimone 2, Poore 2, Dennany, Farmer, Team 1). Assists — EH 15 (Strong 6, Er.Duncan 4), THN 9 (D.Brown 4, Aimone 2, Sandifer 2, Dennany). Steals — EH 7 (S.Duncan 2, Strong 2, Jennings 2), THN 3 (D.Brown, Riley, Farmer). Blocks — EH 1 (Jennings), THN 1 (Sandifer).

JV — Terre Haute North 39 (Casius Bell 9, A.J. Smith 8, Brian Stevens 7, Jackson Wolaver 6), Evansville Harrison 33 (De’Ante Booker 10).

Next — Terre Haute North (7-12) plays Tuesday at Bedford North Lawrence. Evansville Harrison (14-8) hosts Evansville Mater Dei on Thursday.