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Golden Bears return to conference play on roll

By KRIS MILLS - kmills@shelbynews.com

Shelbyville returns to Hoosier Heritage Conference play on Saturday in a home contest against Pendleton Heights. The Golden Bears (10-4, 2-1 HHC) could move into second place in the conference with a win over the Arabians (7-4, 1-0 HHC).

Class 3A No. 1 New Castle sits atop the HHC standings at 3-0. The Trojans have not lost in 12 contests this season.

Shelbyville is 4-0 since a five-point loss to a talented Cathedral team in the Bob Wettig Tournament over Christmas Break. And after a convincing road win over Columbus East on Tuesday, it appears the Golden Bears, who had five players score in double figures in the victory, are clicking on all cylinders.

Shelbyville’s starting unit of Zach Kuhn, Sam Lewis, Cooper Lewis, Brock Blackwell and Josh Williams are all averaging over 9.3 points per game. All five reached doubles figures on Tuesday as the Golden Bears earned a 20-point win. 

Kuhn, a junior, is third in the conference in scoring at 19.1 points per game. He is third in rebouding, as well, at 9.0 per game. Williams, also a junior, is fifth in the HHC in rebounding at 6.7 per game.

Kuhn is second in assists (4.0) and Sam Lewis, a senior, is fifth (3.8). S. Lewis is second in 3-point shooting percentage (48 percent) having made 26 of his 54 attempts in 10 games this season.

THE ARABIANS

Pendleton Heights mirrors Shelbyville in terms of balance. Four players are averaging 10 or more points per game with senior Justin Shope leading the team at 14.0. He also dishes out 3.5 assists per game.

Senior shooter Trent Miller has connected on 31 treys this season and is second on the team in scoring at just over 12 ppg. Football standout, junior Eli Pancol, paces the frontcourt with 10.6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.

Pendleton Heights has won six of its last seven contests -- including three consecutive. The Arabians defeated Connersville in overtime earlier this season, 33-30.

SHELBYVILLE HEADS TO MT. VERNON

The Shelbyville girls’ basketball team will also be in Hoosier Heritage Conference action on Saturday.

The Golden Bears have an afternoon matchup at Mt. Vernon, which is 7-10 overall and 2-1 in the HHC under head coach Julie Shelton, who returned to the program after a three-year absence. She won a state title with the Marauders in 2013.

Shelbyville (1-16, 0-5 HHC) is in search of its first win since a 38-35 victory over Southwestern on Nov. 17. Mt. Vernon is 4-3 in its last seven contests. The team earned a win over New Palestine (12-4) at the beginning of December.

Golden Bear junior forward Olivia Knarr leads the HHC at 6.8 rebounds per game and ninth in scoring at 8.7 ppg. Juniors Ryan Massey and Carris Decatur have also been consistent. Massey is averaging 6.7 points and 4.2 rebounds, while Decatur is totaling 6.1 points and 4.6 rebounds.

Sophomore Sydnee Perry leads the Marauders in scoring at 9.9 ppg. She has connected on 22 shots from deep. Senior Sophie Williams is one of the top rebounders in the conference (6.3) and averages 8.5 points. Freshman Lexi Shelton paces the team with 6.8 ppg. She has made 13 threes this season.

HHC Boys Players of the Week

Logan Smith, Mt. Vernon

Smith had a big game with 34 points on 12-19 shooting, as well as six boards, in the Marauders’ 96-91 4OT win over Greenfield-Central.

1/2: Luke Bumbalough, New Castle

Bumbalough had 42 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in two Hall of Fame Classic victories.

12/26: Mason Gillis, New Castle

Gillis had 24 points and 22 rebounds in the Trojans’ 61-49 win over Mt. Vernon.

HHC Girls Player of the Week

Cameron Tabor, New Castle

Tabor had 36 points, 11 rebounds and two assists in two Trojans victories.

1/2: Sophie Williams, Mt. Vernon

Williams had 36 points and 26 rebounds as the Marauders went 2-1 at Twin Lakes.

12/26: Carley Culberson, Yorktown

Culberson had 17 points, six assists and two steals in the Tigers’ 59-43 win over New Castle.

Kris Mills is the Sports editor of The Shelbyville News. Follow Kris on Twitter @KrisMills37.