The Connersville Spartans dominated Union County’s Patriots Wednesday night, making 7-of-9 shots in the first quarter to bolt to a 20-4 lead, and increased the margin throughout to record a 63-29 win in a physical season-opening game at the Bowl.
Forward Grant Smith knocked down six 3-pointers in 10 attempts and scored 27 points to lead CHS. The 6-6 senior also had 6 rebounds and 2 assists. Junior guard Garrett Silcott had 8 points and 9 assists, and senior Hunter Sullenbarger came off the bench to score 6 points on a pair of treys, and grab 3 rebounds for the winners.
Cameron Donovan scored 8 points to pace Union County, Logan Sanford added 6 points and Mason Miller had 5.
The Spartans made 11-of-24 3-pointers (45.8 percent), Union County was just 2-for-14 (14.2 percent) from behind the line.
Connersville-Union County games always are physical and this was no exception, with the second-quarter featuring a hard foul by Union County’s Haidyn Lathery on Silcott, with CHS senior Beau Isaacs reacting toward Lathery and getting whistled for a technical foul. Isaacs finished with 3 points and 6 rebounds in limited minutes.
Connersville head coach Kerry Brown said the Spartans’ lopsided victory was totally unexpected. CHS’ defense and hot shooting from the floor to open the game were the keys to the outcome. Brown also was happy that all 10 Spartans played, with nine breaking into the scoring column.
“This is a big step, getting some guys some varsity minutes,” Brown told Kmix 106.9 radio announcers Sam Harvey and Dave Pollard. “We got off to a great start and it was a good win for us. … We still have a lot of things to work on.”
Senior center Dalton Huffman had 4 points and 3 boards for the Spartans, sophomore guard Noah Belt made one 3-pointer and scored 5 points, and senior Gavin Wickes converted a pair of Silcott passes into two buckets and 4 points.
Junior Dalton Lee canned a 3-pointer and finished with 4 points and junior forward Wes Smith tallied 1 bucket and pulled down 3 rebounds. Guard Braxton Revalee was the lone Spartan who did not score, but the junior grabbed a pair of rebounds, dished 2 assists and recorded 2 steals.
The Junior Spartans also were victorious, defeating the Patriots reserves, 42-28.
Dylan Logan and Tyler Combs led coach Chris Bottomley’s squad with 9 points each, Brett Gray had 6 and Drew Sherck scored 5.
Connersville (1-0) is off until Dec. 2 when it travels to Rushville for an Eastern Indiana Athletic Conference game against the Lions. The following night, CHS plays at Shelbyville.
Union County (0-1) hosts Seton Catholic (Richmond) on Tuesday, Nov. 29.
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