To senior Jordan Bibbs, the Yorktown boys basketball team’s game against Monroe Central Saturday was an opportunity. The Tigers got a 63-48 non-conference win at home, snapping a two-game losing streak that included their first Hoosier Heritage Conference loss of the season Friday at Rushville.
“These games are always great, especially after we play a conference game and we lose,” Bibbs said. “And to come back and win this kind of game, it kind of builds up our momentum and our confidence.”
The Tigers have started the season 11-2, so the two-game skid represented their first blemishes of the season (they also lost the Delaware County championship game to Wapahani). Coach Greg Miller said it was important to snap the streak at two games with a win against Monroe Central (5-6).
“It’s obviously going to help us feel a little better about our game,” Miller said.
Bibbs led the way for the Tigers offensively Saturday, scoring 21 points. Riley Neal had a double-double for Yorktown, scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Caleb Morey also cracked double-figures with 13 points.
Miller said he saw offensive development from his team in Saturday’s game.
“We’re starting to get guys the basketball in places they can score more points, get to the line more, achieve more assists,” Miller said. “And it’s just a matter of being able to utilize different guys in different positions without just running around and seeing what opens up.”
Yorktown started a bit slowly, and trailed Monroe Central 13-9 after the first quarter. A 23-point second quarter allowed the Tigers to build a 12-point lead, which they expanded to 17 points by the end of the third quarter. Yorktown forced five Monroe Central turnovers in the second quarter, and the Tigers held the Golden Bears to seven points in that period.
Chase Bly was Monroe Central’s leading scorer with 16 points. Jake Combs was the other Golden Bear to crack double-figures, scoring 12 points.
“We were off to a great start there, and hit some shots early,” Monroe Central coach Luke Zartman said. “We got a little loose on the offensive end in the second quarter, started forcing some things, and allowed them to get some easy buckets in transition. And (we) really lost the momentum that we had there early.”
Miller said his team’s humility helped the Tigers avoid being overconfident as they started the season 10-0. That stretch included winning their first three conference games.
At 3-1 in HHC play, the Tigers are one game behind the conference’s co-leaders, Mt. Vernon and New Palestine, who are both 4-0. The Tigers have yet to play either team, though both are on their schedule.
“(The Rushville loss) is going to make practices a lot harder, we’re going to work a lot harder,” Bibbs said. “Just because we know we shouldn’t have lost (Friday) and we know we’ve got tougher games than that coming up, so I think if we work hard, then I think we can beat those teams.”