Mendon looking to win balanced Class D district

MENDON — When asked about a possible rematch between their two teams, David Swanwick and Dave Parks both hesitated.
Neither Swanwick, Mendon’s veteran head coach, nor Parks, Howardsville Christian’s long-time mentor, are overlooking first-round foes as they prepare for this week’s Class D district boys’ basketball tournament at Mendon.
Defending champion Howardsville Christian faces Burr Oak at 6:30 p.m. in tonight’s game.
The winner advances to Wednesday’s second game at 7:30 p.m. against Marcellus. Mendon battles Colon in the opener at 6 p.m. The finals are 7 p.m. Friday.
“It’s nice to have the opportunity to play districts on our own home floor. But at this time of year you have to play well and show up and do your individual jobs on the floor,” Swanwick said.
Mendon defeated Colon 59-46 two weeks ago.
The Hornets have built some momentum winning seven of their last 11 games after starting the season 2-7.
“Our guys have turned the corner in the second half of the season and are moving in the right direction. We’ve managed to cut down on our turnovers and have improved our shooting and rebounding,” Swanwick said.
Keaton Crotser leads Mendon in scoring at 10.5 points per game. Hunter Lovell averages 10 points and six rebounds. Lukas Crotser averages 9.9 points and six boards, while Greg Gifford sports norms of 8.9 points and five rebounds.
Mendon is attempting to make it to its third consecutive district final; the Hornets claimed the title two years ago but were eliminated by Howardsville in 2016.
Howardsville is coming off a 71-62 loss in its final regular-season game to Centreville.
The Eagles won the BCS League White Division title with a 7-1 record.
“We don’t want to look past Burr Oak. They can be a dangerous team,” Parks said.
Junior Zack Boyd had 32 points for Burr Oak in a game against Litchfield back in early February.
“He (Boyd) is a good player and has a nice balanced team around him,” Parks said.
“We need contributions from everyone across the board. We’re still a pretty young team with only one senior. We’re still a work in progress.”
Howardsville Christian is led by sophomore guard Dylan Jergens who has scored 511 points (26.9 ppg), 101 rebounds, 95 assists, 41 steals and three blocked shots.
Jergens is shooting 47 percent from the field (170-of-362), including (56-of-168) from three-point territory for 33 percent. He is shooting 81 percent at the free-throw line (113-for-139).
Lucas Withers averages 10 points and 7.4 rebounds. Daniel Kent averages 6.6 points and 3.7 rebounds, while David Cripps and Colton Fair are averaging five points per game.
Howardsville Christian defeated Mendon 57-44 earlier this season.
Marcellus, which owns a 58-52 win over Howardsville this season, is led by senior Brandon Clark, along with freshman Kaeler Stafne, sophomore Jack Summers and junior Eli Robinson.
Colon has struggled this season under first-year head coach Ted Stoll.
The Magi are led by seniors Dane Wilson, Harrison Sillings and Chase Tomlinson, along with juniors Clayton Wolf, Garrick Yaudes, Dan Alva and sophomore Andrew Smolarz.
Favorite: Mendon
Darkhorse: Marcellus
Scott Hassinger can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 25 or sports@threeriversnews.com.

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