This was the first game of the season as most Indiana high schools start on Wednesday. Rushville is a very different team than they were last year. Rushville graduated three very good players in Spencer Comer, Jon Thompson, and Brandon Herbert. Heritage Christian is different as well with Basil Smotherman, Sr. stepping down from the head coaching position, which led to Basil Smotherman, Jr. transferring to Lawrence North.
The first quarter was all Heritage Christian. Senior Joel Smith led the way with 7 points and 3 rebounds. Smith has been a mainstay on the Heritage Christian varsity since his freshman year. Rushville couldn’t get anything going offensively, their inexperience really showed in the opening period. HC led 21-6 after one quarter.
Rushville started to get things together in the second quarter. Matt Niehoff was able to get to the line frequently where he connected on all six of his free-throws. Cameron Cox also gave Rushville lift from inside and out. Rushville cut the Heritage Christian lead to 37-27 at the half.
The second half started off just like how the game started…with Rushville struggling to score or even get good shots. I was really impressed with Anthony Warrum. Warrum did a little bit of everything, but made some great passes finding open teammates. A lot of Warrum’s passes were to DJ Sternasty, who spotted up for open 3’s all night. Sternasty was 5-7 from three on the evening.
Rushville could never put together a run to cut very deep into Heritage Christian’s lead. HC walked away with the 72-56 victory behind 26 points from Joel Smith, 19 from DJ Sternasty, and 8 points from Anthony Warrum. Matt Niehoff led Rushville with 24 points including 13-14 from the line. Cameron Cox added 18 points in the loss.
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