DUNLAP — If you have ever found yourself wondering, “Is there an 11th commandment?” Concord High School has graciously given the world an answer.
“Thou shalt not win in McCuen Gym.”
The Minutemen defended their home court in style Friday night by beating visiting Wawasee 82-43. The home victory is Concord’s sixth on the year in six opportunities.
Concord (12-1, 5-0 NLC) established its dominance early by starting the game on a 13-0 run. The Warriors had trouble getting anything going after digging themselves such a large hole. The visiting squad would finally get on the board when sophomore Jake Hutchinson hit a three-pointer. Hutchinson finished his night with six points, going 2-6 from long distance. Unfortunately for Wawasee, that was all it could muster in the first quarter. They trailed 24-3 going into the second.
The Warriors started to be more aggressive in the second quarter but still struggled to hit a shot. Wawasee would only manage to get nine points in the second quarter, leaving them with 12 for the half. Concord on the other hand did not miss a beat as they would tack on 19 more points, thanks in part to senior stud, Franko House. The senior just eclipsed the 1,000 point mark in his career, but was held to low offensive production by the Wawasee defense. House would score just eight points all night but managed to grab 10 boards and throw in five assists.
Wawasee ended the half trailing the Minutemen 43-12. Wawasee was shooting a dismal 20 percent from the floor when they headed to the locker room. The Minutemen shot an impressive 60 percent from the field, and 67 percent from beyond the arc. The night was clearly Concord’s.
When asked about the team’s production, or lack there of, Wawasee head coach Phil Mishler said it came down to effort.
“We need to focus in on playing hard. I was real disappointed with our defensive effort in that first half. Yeah, we were over-matched but that doesn’t mean that we can’t play hard,” stated the coach.
In the other locker room, it was just the opposite. Concord coach Steve Austin praised his team’s defensive effort, “I thought we played great defense, and that’s what led us to a victory. We had a lot of fast break buckets off of steals and that’s how we hope it will go every game.”
In the five seasons Austin has overseen Concord, the Minutemen have not lost to Wawasee, averaging 80 points per game in those five victories. Wawasee has not won at McCuen since the 2006-07 season, a triple overtime affair.
Part of the reason that Wawasee could never get close to the Minutemen was the strong and balanced offensive attack that Concord used throughout the game. Four Minutemen scored double-digits. The top scorer for both teams was Concord’s Ramon Johnson, who tallied 13 points and added three steals on defense.
Leading the way for the Warriors was sophomore Alex Clark. The Wawasee underclassmen went 4-4 from the charity stripe and finished with 10 points. Jeffrey Moore would have an impressive night from beyond the arc, finishing 3-5 from long-distance to give the freshman nine points for the game.
Mishler would continue to focus on his team’s poor first half performance, “No matter what, you can always play hard.”
The coach would later continue, “There is just no excuse to not play hard. I mean, we had a rough week. The kids had a rough week. But you still have to be able to contribute to the team.”
The week only gets tougher for Wawasee as they travel to Lakeland High School tomorrow night to do battle with the Lakers. The Warriors (3-10, 0-5 NLC) have taken four straight match-ups with the Lakers. The last time Lakeland was able to pull out a ‘W’ against the Warriors was in a 2009 sectional game in which the Lakers prevailed 68-61.
In the junior varsity game the Minutemen would score a 42-26 victory over the Warrior JV squad. Concord’s Ryan Tepe and Trevor Wilmore finished with 10 points each, tied with Wawasee’s Aaron Voirol for most points scored in the game.