NORTH LEWISBURG – Mechanicsburg defeated Triad, 44-39, in OHC boys basketball on Tuesday.
The Indians faced a packed house that was surprisingly loud for both teams, but weathered a good Triad effort early and pulled away late for the win.
“Kudos to them. They played well. They played a lot harder than we did in the first half. That was a tough game,” MHS Coach Michael Cantrell said. “We knew it was going to be a tough environment. It always is when we come over here, but when we take some shots and slow down and defend hard, I like our chances. We just didn’t do that in the first half.”
Mechanicsburg opened with a 10-4 lead after the first quarter, but slipped to a 15-15 tie at intermission when Triad’s Dillon Nott hit a three-pointer as time expired in the half.
“I expected this game to be close. Mechanicsburg is a very tough, aggressive team. I told my guys whoever played tougher would probably win. And we both played tough,” THS Coach Jason Malone said.
The first part of the third quarter belonged to Triad (0-20, 0-14), which opened up a six-point lead when Nott hit another three and the Cardinals seemingly couldn’t miss.
Nott finished with 11 points to pace Triad with Andrew O’Neal adding 8.
As the Indians (7-9, 5-8) stayed afloat, Chris Taylor hit a couple of threes and suddenly Mechanicsburg caught fire and regained the lead – for good.
Taylor finished with a game-high 17 points – 14 of them in the second half. Logan Hurst added 10 for the Indians.
“Both teams played extremely hard and it was a fun environment. Just your typical small-town OHC basketball game. They came in and had a great game plan and made us work. Luckily, we came out on top,” Cantrell said.
“They hit shots. They shot the ball better than we did. We shot 32 percent, and you’re not going to win very many games doing that,” Malone said. “We played relatively close tonight and gave ourselves a chance, but we’ve got to be more efficient shooting the ball. If we were even remotely tonight, it could have been a win.”
In the jayvee game, Triad won, 24-19. Tate Campbell scored 7 for Triad while Keith Bebout had 15 for Mechanicsburg.
Triad’s freshmen beat Indian Lake, 36-34. Ayden Spriggs scored 17 points for the Cardinals.
On Friday, Mechanicsburg plays at Fairbanks while Triad plays at Northeastern.
Reach Justin Miller at 652-1331 (ext. 1776) or on Twitter @UDC_Miller.