FOUNTAIN CITY, Ind. – A fast start and quick pace made the difference on Friday night as Northeastern defeated Union County 65-47.
“We wanted the pace of the game at our pace,” Northeastern Head Coach Brent Ross said. “We played like Northeastern basketball has played.”
“It’s taken us longer with this group,” Ross continued. “We’re starting to get healthy at the right time. There was probably a month where we didn’t have every kid at practice.”
The Knights began the Tri-Eastern Conference contest with the first eight points of the game.
“Credit to Northeastern,” Union County Head Coach Jesse Moses said. “They were ready and came out and had some good possessions and we didn’t. That kind of set the tone for the rest of the night.”
By the end of the first quarter, the Knights were on top 16-5.
“We didn’t take care of the basketball and we missed some shots,” Moses said. “Turnovers beat you no matter who you are playing, but when you’re playing talented teams on their home floor you get killed.”
Early in the second period, the Knights worked their way to a 31-11 advantage before the Patriots closed the gap to 31-18 with 2:41 left in the opening half.
Carter Lumpkin finished the frame with nine straight points to give the Knights a 40-18 lead.
“We’re starting to play pretty well,” Ross said. “We’re starting to do the things we need to do to be successful.”
The TEC Title Chase
Northeastern’s win created a situation where three teams have one loss at the top of the TEC.
Union County remains in first place at 6-1 with an overall mark of 14-6.
The Knights (13-7, 5-1) and Hagerstown (12-5, 5-1) are tied for second just ½-game from the lead.
All three teams control their own destiny and would all tie for the title if each wins the remaining league games on their schedules.
Brou Leads the Way
Freeman Brou led the Knights with 20 points and six rebounds. Lumkin added 15 points with assists.
Jalen Hillard finished with nine points and five assists, while Alex Reynolds had eight points and five rebounds.
For the Patriots, Mason Miller had 12 points and five rebounds.
Cameron Donovan had 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Trevor Reiboldt had seven points.
Northeastern won the JV contest 41-40 in overtime as Wes Mull scored 19 points. Quantrell Gammon had 13 points.
Nate Webb led Union County with nine points. Hayden Alldredge had eight and Blake Fields had seven.
Union County returns to action on Tuesday at East Central (12-7).
Northeastern visits Winchester (5-13, 3-4) next Friday.