The Connersville Spartans will try to improve to 4-0 this weekend when a pair of longtime rivals visit Spartan Bowl.
CHS hosts Rushville tonight in an Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference matchup, with Shelbyville challenging Coach Kerry Brown’s squad Saturday night.
“It’s a big weekend with a really important conference game. A huge conference game,” said Brown.
Connersville beat host Indianapolis Broad Ripple, 54-46, last Saturday to improve to 2-0. The Spartans overcame a hot-shooting Rockets team that made six 3-pointers in the first half, and led by eight late in the game before CHS exploded with a 13-0 run pick up the win.
“We didn’t shoot well (17-for-41). We only made one 3-pointer and we missed some easy shots,” Brown said about the win. “But we played a lot better defensively in the second half and we never gave up.”
Tyler Billups scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Spartans. Garrett Silcott added 9 points and 4 assists, Grant Smith and Beau Isaacs had 8 points apiece with Isaacs pulling down 9 rebounds and Smith 5.
Senior guard Chandler Graves, who finished with 4 points, 8 boards and 2 assists, earned ‘Player of the Game’ honors for his all-around effort.
“He played a fine game, he had a great effort,” Brown said about Graves. “He was all over the floor … he really gave us a spark down the stretch.”
Rushville (0-1) lost its season opener to Shelbyville, 68-51, on Nov. 25. The Golden Bears blasted Class 2A Triton Central, 92-52, on Nov. 28.
The Lions height and experience will present problems for the Spartans, especially Jaret Sons and Alex Yurack. Sons scored 20 points against Shelbyville, Yurack added 15. Sean Taylor and Wesley Green also play well for Coach Brian Bowen’s team.
As far as Shelbyville, Brown and the Spartans aren’t looking past Rushville. “We’ve looked at some tape of Shelbyville but we’re concentrating on Rushville,” he said. “It’s a big conference game, a big game and the atmosphere should be great. But we’ll be ready Saturday when the time comes.”
Last season, Connersville lost to Rushville and Shelbyville by 3-point margins. The Lions won, 38-35, with the Golden Bears winning, 41-38. Shelbyville hosts Columbus North tonight.
If you can’t make it to the games, you can listen to all the action on Kmix 106.9 radio or http://kmix1069.com/ featuring announcers Sam Harvey and Dave Pollard.
Area / games of interest
Rushville at Connersville
Indianapolis North Central at Richmond
Cambridge City Lincoln at Hagerstown
Knightstown at Union County
Northeastern at Centerville
Randolph Southern at Union City
Tri at Blue River
Winchester at Wapahani
Jac-Cen-Del at South Dearborn
Saturday, Dec. 5
Shelbyville at Connersville
Franklin County at Centerville
New Palestine at Rushville
Indianapolis Marshall at Richmond
Anderson at New Castle
Greensburg at Batesville
Lawrenceburg at Milan
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