Hawks soar past Irish

KNOXVILLE — Hardin Valley Academy boys basketball team has lost its share of close District 4-AAA games this season — but a close one got into the win column last Friday Night on the road.

The Hawks outlasted Knoxville Catholic 65-52 Jan. 26 at KCHS despite being without starting senior point guard Aaron Dykes, who was nursing a leg bruise.

Hardin Valley (11-12 overall, 5-7 in the district) got significant contributions from all over the floor.

Senior Gavin Eidemiller scored 16 points to lead HVA’s offensive attack, while Jordan Ewing and Tristen Waite added 12 points each.

Tanner White and Cartez Campbell finished with five points apiece. Allan Sumner buried a big 3-point shot in the third quarter that gave the Hawks a 40-36 lead with 2:42 remaining in the frame.

“It’s sort of been a roller-coaster ride of a season,” Shane Chambers, HVA head coach, said. “... Tonight, we had some people step up. When we played that TV game against Maryville, people started to find out about Gavin.”

Eidemiller scored half of his points over the final eight minutes and was 6-for-8 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.

“We feel like we’re one of the better teams in our district, and we know Bearden is one of the top teams in the state and we’re looking to beat them,” he said.

The Hawks enjoyed a fourth quarter where they outscored the Irish 22-12.

Hardin Valley limited Catholic (16-4, 8-4) to just one shot on many of the Irish’s possessions after halftime.

“We just didn’t play very well offensively tonight,” KCHS coach Mike Hutchens said. “Defensively, we played fine.

“Hat’s off to Hardin Valley, they played well offensively tonight and we didn’t.”

Brock Jancek, 6-foot-7 senior Irish post, scored 16 points to lead the Irish.

However, “For the second game in a row, Brock got in foul trouble,” Hutchens said. “And when he’s not on the floor, it changes our whole game.”

Jack Sompayrac, Catholic senior guard, finished with 11 points.