The balanced and deep North Hardin Trojans simply wore down the Louisville Shawnee Golden Eagles on Saturday night.
All five starters scored at least seven points and North Hardin fouled out three Shawnee starters as the Trojans pulled away for a 74-63 win in the nightcap of the annual Cameron Irvin Classic.
“As long as each one of us plays our role and we get the win, that’s all that matters,” said North Hardin junior forward Brandon Maxwell, who had 15 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
Sophomore forward Tony Jackson added 16 points and a team-best four assists, while senior forward Tony Bogle had 15 points and seven rebounds. Junior forward Will Alexander, who sat most of the first half after picking up two quick fouls, had 13 points and four rebounds. Junior forward Andre Harris added seven points and sophomore guard Gavin Root hit two 3-pointers off the bench.
“We’re deep and we have a lot of guys who can score,” said North Hardin coach Mike Cofer. “They like playing with each other and they’re unselfish. They don’t care who scores.”
They didn’t care about some other things, either. They routinely lost track of Louisville Shawnee guard Lloyd White, who canned his first five 3-pointers en route to a game-high 22 points. And they had trouble converting at the foul line, going 21-of-38.
“Free throws can be the difference in the ball game and we didn’t do a real good job on them,” Bogle said. “It’s definitely something we need to improve on.”
North Hardin had trouble sustaining success early, not taking the lead for good until Maxwell scored with 5:12 left in the third quarter to break a tie at 38.
“We did a lot of boneheaded things tonight, but that’s part of learning and part of the growth process,” Cofer said.
The Trojans, who have scored at least 73 points every game, have done a complete 180 from this point last season — when they opened 0-3, allowed at least 68 points in all three losses and failed to score at least 65 points.
“It’s a good start for us,” Cofer said. “We did what we expected to do and the boys have played three pretty good teams.
After playing for the third time in five days, the Trojans get a bit of a breather before hosting Mercer County in their fourth straight home game to open the season.
“This season feels a lot better than last year, I can tell you that,” Bogle said. “But we’re trying to get to 4-0 now. This victory is over with. It’s done with.”
NORTH HARDIN 74, LOUISVILLE SHAWNEE 63
Lou. Shawnee 15 16 12 20—63
North Hardin 14 18 19 23—74
Louisville Shawnee (0-3)
Lloyd White 22, Jaylen Wesley 11, Deonte Johnson 10, Joseph Jewell 7, Robert Bendingfield 5, Josh Cunningham 4, Eric King 4. FG: 19-42. FT: 18-28. 3-pointers: 7-13 (White 6-8, Johnson 1-3, King 0-2). Rebs: 34 (Wesley 8, Jewell 7, White 6). Assists: 9 (White 3).
North Hardin (3-0)
Tony Jackson 16, Tony Bogle 15, Brandon Maxwell 15, Will Alexander 13, Andre Harris 7, Gavin Root 6, Jeremiah Draper 2. FG: 25-58. FT: 21-38. 3-pointers: 3-12 (Root 2-3, Jackson 1-6, Maxwell 0-1, Parker McDonald 0-1). Rebs: 33 (Maxwell 10, Bogle 7). Assists: 13 (Jackson 4).
UP NEXT: North Hardin hosts Mercer County at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Nathaniel Bryan can be reached at 270-505-1758 or email@example.com