Getting double-figure scoring from three players, the Beech Grove Hornets came back from their loss at New Castle two nights earlier with a resounding 61-44 win over the Roncalli Rebels Saturday afternoon on the Matt English Court at “The Hive.”
Coach Mike Renfro’s Hornets made life miserable for the visiting Rebels as they made just 14 of 41 shots (34 per cent) from the field, including an ice-cold 3-of-20 (15 per cent) from behind the three-point arc. Meanwhile, the hosts shot much better, connecting on 22 of 45 shots (49 per cent) from the floor, including 6-of-15 from three-point land.
John Parker paced the Hornets (9-6) with 17 points, five assists and three steals. While Gavin Hess scored 16 points, grabbed six rebounds and blocked two shots, Jajuan Allison poured in 12 points as the Hornets defeated Roncalli in consecutive games for the first time since the 2001-02 season.
Senior Jacob Denney led the Rebels (4-12) with 15 points while sophomore Anthony Donahue added 11.
Before the game, which was part of the annual Coaches vs. Cancer event, there was a tribute to the late Beech Grove High School boys basketball head coach and athletic director Matt English, who passed away December 10 after a courageous seven-year battle against brain cancer. Coach English’s widow Angela presented plaques to four individuals who were close to her husband or did work honoring him: Mark Jaynes, who emceed the event; Dave Furst, sports director at WRTV Channel 6; Kyle Neddenriep, high school sports writer for The Indianapolis Star; and senior Emily Johnson, who produced a documentary on the former Beech Grove basketball coach. Mrs. English also presented back packs filled with mementos and other keepsakes from her husband’s coaching career, including play sheets, lineup cards, and other memorabilia from his coaching days, to the current coaching staff and former assistant coaches under Coach English at BGHS.
Saturday’s win marked the first time since January 5, 2001 that Beech Grove won a regular season home game from Roncalli in boys basketball. The Hornets face Cardinal Ritter tomorrow night in a key Indiana Crossroads Conference contest at “The Hive,” with tipoff set for 7:30 p.m.