It’s been eleven years since the Brownsburg Bulldogs captured their one and only Hoosier Crossroads Conference boys basketball championship. Even though the Bulldogs lost only three games last season en route to a sectional championship, one of those defeats came at the hands of the eventual conference champion Hamilton Southeastern Royals.
The Royals finished conference play a perfect 9-0 while the Bulldogs finished in second place at 8-1. Their lone conference loss was a 62-40 defeat at Hamilton Southeastern. This season, instead of a nine game conference schedule, each school will play six HCC games after the loss of the three Tippecanoe County schools. While neither the Bulldogs or Royals will battle for a conference crown this season (that battle will be in Fishers tonight in a winner-take-all contest between Fishers and Zionsville), Brownsburg would like to at least snap a five game losing streak against the Royals and maybe a little payback for last season’s loss.
The Bulldogs are coming off of a 62-45 victory at Plainfield Tuesday. The win was Brownsburg’s fourth consecutive and ninth out of their last eleven games. The Bulldogs used some very opportunistic defense in the second half to extend their seven point halftime lead to as much as 19 in the second half before both coaches began substituting freely late in the contest. While senior swingman and Indiana All-Star K.J. Walton had an off night with 9 points on 4-11 shooting and 0-6 from behind the arc, senior point guard Darrian Ringo and senior forward Jordache Mavunga more than made up the difference scoring 15 and 16 points respectively. Ringo’s four steals led to easy transition buckets for the Dogs while Mavunga was solidly efficient from all areas of the court hitting 3-4 from the field, 2-4 from behind the arc and 4-4 from the free throw line. The Bulldogs also received solid scoring contributions from Tyler Kirtz (7), Dalton Vachon (6) and Landon Hall (6).
While Steve Lynch’s Bulldogs continue to have a successful season, Hamilton Southeastern head coach Brian Satterfield finds his team in uncharted waters. For the first time in his 14 year coaching career, a coach Satterfield team will have a losing record. It also marks the first time in 16 years that a Royals boys basketball team will finish the season under .500. Hamilton Southeastern lost a close game to Pike in their last outing 63-57. The Royals held a 28-27 halftime advantage and the game was tied after three quarters at 58-58. But the Red Devils won the game in the fourth quarter outscoring the host Royals 15-9 to come away with the victory. Sophomore Zach Gunn led the Royals with a double-double (22 points, 11 rebounds) while senior Tyler Janney had 7 points and 7 assists. Scoring has been at a premium for the Royals this season who have historically been one of the better offensive teams in central Indiana under coach Satterfield. Gunn leads the team in scoring (18.3 ppg) but the Royals have yet to find someone else that can consistently put up some points to compliment him. Hamilton Southeastern is only averaging 54 points per game this season after averaging around 70 points per game over their last three seasons.
It’s the final conference game of the year for the Bulldogs and the next to the last regular season game for Brownsburg as well. It all begins tonight at 7:10 PM on 1610 AM XRB in Brownsburg and on the web at XRBradio.com with the Bulldogs pregame show. Tonight is also Senior Night and Christopher Worley’s interview with Brownsburg head basketball coach Steve Lynch will center around the Bulldogs senior players. Then Chris joins me for the call between the Bulldogs and Royals with the tipoff set for 7:30 PM.