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Basketball stock

John Watkins, File | The Times

HEBRON — The boys basketball sectional at Hebron opened with a pair of routs on Tuesday.

Marquette Catholic opened the bracket with a 72-46 win over North Newton. Hebron then made quick work of Boone Grove, 45-17, in the second game of Class 2A sectional.

“We knew going into this game to beat a (Matt) McKay team that we needed to play well defensively,” Hebron coach Mike Grennes said. “I thought we did a pretty good job of that, especially early.”

Boone Grove (2-18) struggled to get off a high-percentage look against Hebron’s defense. As the game went on and the deficit increased, the Wolves found their offense in the second half after hitting just two field goals in the first 16 minutes.

By then, it was far too late. Hebron (11-9) took a 15-2 lead into the second quarter and a 20-point edge into the halftime break that was insurmountable by the night’s end.

“You can never overlook any team,” Grennes said. “We were ready to get after it, and we had to be.”

Boone Grove junior Brandon Ferguson led his team with six points and six rebounds. Hebron’s offense was balanced, especially while going deeper into the bench, and was led by senior Carson Roeske’s 14 points and five rebounds.

Marquette Catholic overmatched North Newton throughout its victory in the opening game with a combination of size and hot outside shooting.

The Blazers (11-14) owned the glass to a tune of 15 more rebounds than the Spartans. Senior Joe Andershock was a key player in that margin with 10 rebounds to go along with eight points. The 6-foot-6 forward stood high above an undersized North Newton squad.

“We knew we wanted to push the ball, so you really just have to get the rebound and go,” said Andershock, adding that it was one of his better games of the season. “When we were able to do that, it really got us going.”

Andershock opened the first half running out to a 13-point lead at the break. Senior Buddy Jaffee hit a game-high five 3-pointers, four of which came consecutively in the opening quarter.

“Our shooting is what lets us space the floor,” Andershock said. “When we’re hitting shots like that, it just makes it easier.”

Senior Kyle Geller led the way for North Newton (2-18) with a game-high 21 points. He also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds in the defeat.

While both Boone Grove and North Newton head into the offseason looking for answers, Hebron and Marquette Catholic have just two off days before the state tournament continues.

With all the records reset and the win-or-go-home setting, Grennes said now is as good a time to get hot as ever.

“It’s now or never, right?” he said. “This is the right time to be playing good basketball.”