UNION CITY – After starting the season with four consecutive losses, Mississinawa Valley is getting on track as the Blackhawks won their second straight game Friday, defeating Newton 63-46.
MV never trailed in Friday’s Cross County Conference boys basketball game as the Blackhawks displayed improved shooting, passing, ball security, defense and hustle.
“It all came together,” Mississinawa coach Tim Barga said. “We were on top of it tonight.”
It was close early on with Mississinawa Valley holding a slim 12-9 lead late in the opening quarter. The Blackhawks closed out the quarter up 19-10 with a 7-1 run, which included Ethan Bowman draining a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that flew three-quarters of the length of the court.
“He was practicing that before the game started, before anybody got here,” Barga said. “He was just kind of messing around; he shot two or three of them.
“How many times could you make one of them? But it happened. That’s great. The fans loved it. Our kids loved it. Got us going. Those kind of things make it fun.”
In the second quarter Mississinawa Valley continued to pull away, building a 12-point lead as the Blackhawks went into halftime up 32-20. The lead continued to grow in the third quarter with Mississinawa going up 18 points, 49-31.
“We hustled more the last two games than we hustled any other time,” Barga said. “We played three really tough teams early in the season, but still we should have hustled.”
That hustle was especially helpful for fast-break scoring opportunities as numerous steals resulted in Mississinawa Valley points.
“We had quite a few that turned into points, and that’s good,” Barga said. “We needed that. Our defensive effort, it was there tonight. Our inside game is a little bit weak on defense, but we were using a lot of quickness out front.”
The Blackhawks led by as many as 26 points in the fourth quarter before Newton ultimately finished the game on an 8-0 run with the backups on the court, leaving the final score at 63-38.
Bowman led Mississinawa Valley with a game-high 19 points.
“Ethan played a really nice game,” Barga said. “I should say most of them did. Overall everybody played pretty well. That’s a plus for us right there.”
Also for the Blackhawks, Trenton Perkins scored 13 points, Andrew Johns scored 11, DJ Howell scored 6, Darin Miller scored 6, Alex Scholl scored 4, and Matt Slob scored 4.
Ryan Mollette led Newton with 12 points, Jackson Riffle scored 10, Treg Jackson scored 9, Nash Lavy scored 5, Nelson Clymer scored 4, James Whittaker scored 3, Austin Evans scored 2, and Luke Miller-Search scored 1.
Mississinawa Valley improved to 2-4 overall and 1-3 in the CCC with Friday’s win.