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Huntington comes up short against Cougars

Staff reports

After playing within four points of one of the nation’s best through the opening 20 minutes, the Huntington University men’s basketball team came out on the wrong end of an 82–69 decision to No. 6 Mount Vernon Nazarene Saturday afternoon in Platt Arena.

The first half was up for grabs as the lead toggled back and forth five times. Aside from two briefs stints, no more than two possessions separated the two squads as the period also saw five stalemates.

Junior guard Konner Platt had the hot hand by going 3–5 from downtown on his way to topping all scorers in the opening frame with 11 points. As a team, however, the Foresters shot an uncharacteristic 38.2 percent from the field, but still stayed within striking distance by heading into halftime down by only four points at 41–37.

After the first eight minutes of the second half, Huntington was still within two scores of their visitors, 59–54, but their struggle to put the ball in the hoop finally caught up with them. A three-minute scoreless stretch for the Foresters translated into 11 unanswered points for the Cougars and a double-digit advantage that stood the test of time.

The Cougars stretched the lead to as many as 20 points with seven minutes to go, but the Foresters surged back to cut their deficit to 11 points, 77–66, by the 4:24 mark behind four points from senior forward Tyler Arens. However, that was as close as things would get, as 13 points separated the two teams by the final buzzer.

Platt poured in a game-best 23 points, with 15 of those points coming from deep. Freshman forward Caleb Middlesworth netted 14 points and corralled a game-tying nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Zac Owens finished with 13 points.

Jeremiah Roberts tossed in 21 points for Mt. Vernon Nazarene. Brett Vipperman added 20 points and nine rebounds for the Cougars, while Austin Jones posted 13 points and Jevon Knox and Isaac White scored 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Head coach Ty Platt’s crew committed just eight turnovers to the Cougars’ 14. Shooting ended up getting the best of Huntington, as they finished the day at 38.1 percent to the Cougars’ 52.7 percent.

While Mt. Vernon Nazarene tallied the series sweep over the Foresters this year, Huntington has dominated this conference matchup by collecting 12 wins to just four losses under the tutelage of coach Platt.

Huntington is 15–11 overall and 5–9 in league play. Next up for the Foresters is a duel with Goshen on Tuesday in Platt Arena. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.

TRACK & FIELD

The Forester track and field teams competed at two different sites on Saturday with senior Aspen Dirr headlining the weekend. Dirr hit the “A” standard in the 5,000 meters at the Indiana Wesleyan Midwest Indoor Classic by clocking in at 18:10.72. In addition to winning the race, her time was also the second-fastest time in program history.

Junior Molly Mitchell was also at IWU and claimed Huntington’s only other top spot by winning the 600 meters in 1:39.34.

A handful of Huntington men also competed in Troyer Fieldhouse, including sophomore Adrien Gentrie, who ran a personal-record time of 4:30.03 to finish fourth out of 62 runners and earned a spot in the record books by logging the ninth-fastest time in Forester history.

Senior CJ Robertson (1:23.91) and sophomore Elijah Chesterman (2:38.57) also claimed fourth place finishes in the 600 meters and 1,000 meters, respectively.

The majority of head coach Joel Child’s crew spent their Saturday at the Anderson University Indoor Invitational, where senior Emily Hubby’s mark of 2.90 meters in pole vault not only earned her second place, but also proved a new personal best and upped her position in the record books to the fourth spot that she shares with two others including current teammate sophomore Alyssabeth Cottle.

Cottle finished third on Saturday with a leap of 2.75 meters. Freshman Saige Norris ran a 3:22.27 in the 1,000 meters to place second. Freshman Olivia Von Gunten took 3rd in the 800 meters with her time of 2:32.56. Huntington finished 3rd and 4th in the 400 meters with sophomore Jessica Chojnacki posting a 1:05.29 as the first Forester to cross the line while sophomore Jordan Adams was next in 1:08.40.

Other top five finishes for the Foresters included sophomore Erin Manchess in the mile (second, 6:26.14), freshman Isabel Hunter in the 3,000 meters (fifth, 12:32.10), the 4x400 meter relay team (fourth, 4:37.95), the distance medley relay team A (first, 14:26.52) and the distance medley relay team B (14:35.14).

On the men’s side at the Kardatzke Wellness Center, Huntington claimed spots two through five in the 60 meter hurdles, led by freshman Cameron Worsham, who ran a personal-record time of 8.67 for second, followed by freshman Justin Edwards (thirdrd, 9.23), sophomore Graham Johnson (fourth, 9.48) and senior Adam Woods (fifth, 9.91).

Huntington also had a good showing in the 1,000 meters with three Foresters rounding out the top five. Sophomore Justin Ayres took third in 2:49.67 followed by senior Nick Childs (fourth, 3:00.81) and sophomore Cody Feisel (fifth, 3:15.59). Nick Childs also placed fifth in the mile by posting a time of 4:54.79.

Huntington was represented in field events by junior Zach Williams, who took second in weight throw with his toss of 13.57 meters. Woods (3.80 meters) and junior Connor Nash (3.80 meters) finished second and third, respectively, in pole vault.

Other top five finishes for Huntington included junior Avniel Barrow in the 60 meters (fourth, 7.11), sophomore Peyton Depriest in the 400 meters (third, 51.64), freshman Andrew Zachary in the 400 meters (fourth, 53.38), freshman Justin Edwards in the 800 meters (fifth, 2:16.88), sophomore Kody Ahrens in the 3,000 meters (fourth, 9:58.76), the 4x400 meter relay team A (second, 3:33.35), the 4x400 meter relay team B (fifth, 3:59.19) and the distance medley relay team (thirdrd, 11:33.02).

No team score was kept at either meet. Next up for the Foresters is the Crossroads League Indoor Championships next weekend at Taylor University.