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Boys basketball: Hanover edges Morgan Twp.

Updated: February 27, 2013 6:18AM



CEDAR LAKE — Morgan Township almost snuck up on this year’s PCC Tournament champs with a second-half push, but Hanover Central clawed its way to a 51-46 victory on Friday night in front of its home crowd.

“Coming into this game after the tournament championship, we knew the two happiest teams were us for winning it and Morgan for having the first chance at us,” said Hanover Central coach Bryon Clouse. “It’s one thing to get the (PCC) Keg, but it is another to defend it.”

Clouse tried to prepare the team all week using this strategy, and early in the first quarter, his plan worked. Hanover showed power down low on the boards, with forwards Sean Kelly and Max Johnson.

Johnson, who came off a 26-point championship game, finished game with 13 points. Hanover Central plowed into halftime up 30-18.

What seemed to be a brand new Cherokees team came out in the second half.

Guard Ryan Kilikus led the way in the third quarter with help from forward Jake Koselke, and a defense that forced Hanover Central to call timeout with 5:38 left in the third quarter after Morgan Township slowly creeped to within 30-26.

Both teams continued to make their free throws throughout the game. Morgan Township came back with rebounds and steals from Klikus, and by moving the ball around and finding holes in the Hanover defense.

With five minutes left, Hanover held a 41-39 lead.

Hanover Central was outhustled by a scrappy and hungry Morgan Township, but as put by Max Johnson, “We were able to pull through in the end.”



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