Lincoln Hale scored 13 points in the second quarter Tuesday night, but had the only miss in what was otherwise a perfect eight minutes of shooting for he and his Linton teammates.
Which is an indication of how things went for visiting Terre Haute South in an 80-56 nonconference loss.
The two teams had played a 56-54 game in December at the First Financial Wabash Valley Classic, but the Miners are better now — and shot 63 percent from the field Tuesday — and the Braves are short-handed because of illness.
“It helps when you have a full team,” said coach Maynard Lewis of the Braves, who had just six players in uniform Tuesday who hadn’t also played in the junior varsity contest. “Being short-handed puts you in a tough situation . . . the sooner we can get our full team back [Brylan Apholone and Daonta Wade were unavailable Tuesay] the better we’ll be.
“You can’t teach experience,” the coach added. “Linton was more experienced, they handled our press well and they simplified the game to get easy baskets.”
The Braves, after falling behind 8-2, looked like they were going to make the game another close decision when they fought back to tie the score 13-13 with an 11-5 run that included four points and an assist by Cordell Hanes.
But Hale was fouled on the offensive board with 0:00.2 left in the first quarter, made two free throws, and then that second quarter happened. A 14-0 run broke the game open at 31-14, and intensity waned on both sides after that — although the Miners were still shooting well.
“We’re getting better, for sure.” said coach Joey Hart of Linton. “We need to shore up some things on defense, and when we get a lead like that, sometimes we lack a little attention to detail.
“But I thought we were unselfish with the basketball, moved it pretty well.”
“On their home court, that’s what you would expect [the Miners] to do,” Lewis said, “but I’m not sure we played much defense after the first quarter.”
South threatened to make a game of it early in the third quarter and had an 8-0 run (3-pointers by Jaden Thomas and Amariyae Wilson and a tip-in by the diminutive Thomas) to get within 47-34. Another 3-point attempt missed that would have brought South within 10.
But the Miners had apparently seen enough at that point. They closed the third quarter with an 11-0 run, and hit 9 of 12 from the field in the fourth period.
Hale had game-high totals of 30 points and 10 rebounds, while Kip Fougerousse had 15 with seven assists and Josh Pyne scored 11.
Hanes had 18 points for South, with Brayden Turner adding 14 and Wilson 12. Thomas scored eight, tied for his team’s lead with six rebounds and handed out a game-high eight assists.
“We didn’t play very good defense, so we’ll get back to work and try to close those gaps,” Lewis said. “[The problem is] not the effort.”