Hamilton County Reporter
There is no such thing as momentum in a Mudsock game.
There certainly wasn’t in Friday’s Hamilton Southeastern-Fishers boys
basketball game, which took place at the Royals’ gym. Southeastern, ranked No. 3 in
Class 4A, appeared to have pulled away twice during the second half, but the Tigers
clawed their way back both times.
Finally, the Royals escaped with a 42-38 victory. The victory keeps Southeastern
unbeaten for the season at 6-0. Fishers is now 2-4.
“We’ve played a challenging schedule,” said HSE coach Brian Satterfield. “We have
to with our conference and with our sectional. We’ve got to do that and guys got
to be ready to step up. We know that we’re going to go through ups and downs
throughout the year with as young as we are.”
There were ups and downs in the first quarter, for sure. Aaron Etherington opened
things up for the Royals with a 3-point basket, then Fishers took the lead when
Willie Jackson scored on a putback and Jeremy Szilagyi drained a 3.
The Tigers led 7-5 before Etherington pushed HSE back up 9-7 with a pair of
baskets. But a Jordan Jones layin finished the quarter, and got Fishers back to even at
“It was crazy,” said Etherington. “It was really fun. It was really loud and it’s just fun
being able to play in front of all those people.”
Jackson made two steals in the first half that led to baskets, and his second-quarter
takeaway got back in the hands of Szilagyi, who nailed another 3. That put Fishers
Then it was Noah Smith time. The Royals junior took over in the later minutes
of the period, scoring six straight points on three baskets, the last of which was a
buzzer-beater that gave HSE an 18-14 halftime lead.
The third quarter opened with Brendhan Russom making a layin to get Fishers
within 18-16. But Southeastern swung the game in their favor quickly with back-to-back
3-pointers by Etherington and Nick Bowman. Those long-range shots gave HSE
a 24-16 lead.
Undaunted, Fishers pushed back, making a 6-0 run to get within 24-22. Terry
Hicks helped out with a pair of baskets and Jones scored on a layin.
“You play one possession at a time and I thought we did a good job of not getting
emotional when they went up eight,” said Tigers coach Matt Moore. “We turned them
over, we were able to convert a little bit. We did a much better job when we’d attack
the paint, making that extra pass.
“But we left too many shots out there. We had a ton of shots in the lane that we
just didn’t convert that put us over the top.”
The third quarter ended on a basket by the Royals’ Chaz Birchfield, which made
the score 28-24. The Tigers got to within 30-29 with 5:17 left in the fourth, but then
Southeastern took off on an 8-1 run.
Etherington started things with a layin. Birchfield made two free throws with 3:37
left, then two more at the 3:06 mark. The run ended in dramatic fashion as Mabor
Majak made a two-handed dunk – his only points of the game, but they certainly
counted. Southeastern was up 38-30 after that.
The Tigers made one more 6-0 run to cut HSE’s lead to 38-36. Josiah Matthews
hit a 3-pointer to begin the run, then a free throw by Jones and two more by Jackson
put Fishers in striking distance with 27.1 seconds left. But the Royals were able to
hang on, with Birchfield’s putback with around 10 seconds left essentially sealing
“Our guys keep battling through,” said Satterfield. “They’re playing together and
staying together, even through the challenging times and we’re finding ways
Southeastern’s Etherington led all scorers with 17 points, while Birchfield
added 10 points and pulled seven rebounds. Bowman dished out six assists, while
Etherington and Majak both blocked two shots.
Szilagyi scored eight points to lead Fishers, and also made five steals. Jackson
and Russom both had five rebounds and Hicks made four steals.
The Royals will play another home game on Wednesday, taking on Pendleton
Heights. Fishers is back on the road Thursday, traveling to Muncie Central.