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Boys Basketball: Hancock beats L’Anse, gets 1st win of the season

L’ANSE — The stars must have been aligned and the basketball gods must have been peering down favorably upon the Hancock boys basketball team Friday night in L’Anse.

The Bulldogs (1-11) won their first game of the season 77-63 over the Purple Hornets (5-8). The victory ended an 11-game losing streak.

“I knew this game was coming. I just didn’t know when,” Hancock head coach Matt Strong said. “I knew these guys were capable of playing strong and consistent. I think one of the keys was that we had a hard week of practice, and it paid off tonight.”

In the opening quarter, the two teams traded baskets and tied at seven and again at nine before the Bulldogs pulled out to an 18-13 lead after eight minutes. In the second quarter, the momentum continued to favor Hancock as the held an 11-point lead with 2:40 left before half time.

Junior Carson Chynoweth and sophomore JD Sebbas carried the team to victory. With a fearless drive to the basket and some sharp outside shooting, Chynoweth poured in 35 points. Meanwhile Sebbas’ weapon of choice was the three-pointer. He had 25 points, 15 of which came from 3s.

“Carson had a heck of a game as did JD,” Strong said. “Our defense was better, and we boxed out and rebounded well tonight.”

The Bulldogs led 36-28 at the half-way mark. Winning a first half was nothing new for the Bulldogs. It is the second half that has often been the problem. They have been ahead at the mid-way point in a number of games this year only to fall apart in the second half of the game and lose.

“I told the guys to just keep doing what they were doing,” Strong said. “If we cannot get a bucket in the paint then kick the ball for a three.”

In the other locker room, the Purple Hornets head coach, Kyle Koski, had some choice words of his own for his team at halftime.

“I told them that we had to guard Chynoweth and Sebbas better,” Koski said. “Also we needed to pick up some loose balls and get some charges.”

As the third quarter opened up it looked like deja vu all over again for Strong and the Bulldogs. An eight-point lead quickly dwindle to a 41-all tie in a matter of minutes. The two teams were tied again at 46 before the Bulldogs could pull away for eight unanswered points. That run included an Elijah Packard three-pointer to end the third at 54-46.

“We played fast but were smart at the same time,” Strong said. “We were able to learn from our mistakes as the game went on.”

The Bulldogs kept their momentum alive to the end as they outscored the Purple Hornets 23-13 in the final quarter to secure the win.

“You have to give Hancock credit. They made their shots and we didn’t,” Koski said. “We missed our layups and had too many turnovers.”

The Purple Hornets host Watersmeet on Monday. The Bulldogs host Gwinn on Tuesday.

Hancock 18 18 18 23 — 77

L’Anse 13 15 22 13 — 63

HANCOCK (77): Jacques 3, Chynoweth 35, Packard 9, Sebbas 25, Smith 2, Raasio 3. 3-point FG: 11 (Chynoweth 3, Packard 3, Sebbas 5). F 21. FT 12-26.

L’ANSE (63): Jacobson 20, Reed 6, Allen 8, Laitila 2, Grentz 2 Curto 2, Kissel 14, Ostermeyer 9. 3-point FG: 4 (Jacobson 2, Kissel, 2). F: 22. FT: 13-23.

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