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Lions lick wounds after Hatchet job
By John Mullen   
   Tuesday night’s match-up of ranked teams at the Hatchet House, with newly crowned class 3A number one Washington and the seventh-ranked 1A Loogootee Lion outfit, brought in 3,000 or so pre-Christmas basketball aficionados and casual fans needing a break from holiday shopping.  And, although it is the season of believing, there was no small miracle to be witnessed as highly touted WHS and their squadron of big guns shot down the Lions 58-37.  
  Loogootee’s Bryant Ackerman kept his teammates in the game early on as his two early three-point bombs gave the visitors a first quarter lead at 14-13.  
  Washington responded, of course, with Zeller 3.0 (thanks Alan), and senior reserve muscleman Robert Miles who combined to pour in fifteen of the team’s 17 second quarter points.  
  Trailing 31-22 at intermission, Loogootee upped their defensive intensity, giving up just nine markers in the third frame, but on the flip side, they could not put the biscuit in the basket, scoring just six points of their own.  Down a dozen, at 40-28, the immediate and swift offensive job of the Hatchets in the first few minutes of the last stanza dashed any triumphant hope of a Lion rally.  
  Ackerman was the biggest factor on the court for Loogootee as he popped for 16 of his game-high 23 tallies in the first half.  
  Meanwhile, Mr. Double Double, Zeller, pulled down 14 rebounds and wound up with 20 points to boot.  Miles came on for 11 and senior Sam Gines 10.  
  Lion leading scorer John Baugh, who gave up a foot of height against the YZ tree factor, only managed four.  6’4” freshman banger, Conner Wittmer, also had to look up to see 6’6” Robert Pittman and struggled to just three free throws.  Josh Divine added a trey with Jordan Arvin and Ben Hogan scoring one hoop each.  
  Washington, with a cornucopia of Zellers in their stable the past decade, has now defeated the local boys seven straight times to take a 46-30 lead in the all-time series between the two southern Indiana basketball powerhouses.  
  The junior varsity also lost 42-35, despite holding a 21-20 lead at the half.  Juniors Stephen Bradley and Kirk Lengacher led with twelve and nine respectively.  Waylon Matthews scored five, Matt Tucker four, Daniel Wildman three, and Clinton Burch two points.  
  Loogootee will come into the New Year with a 6-2 slate; their next opportunity for redemption comes on Saturday, January 2nd, 2010, across the river at Shoals.  
-Photo by Larry Hembree
Sophomore sensation Bryant Ackerman sizzled in the first half en route to a career high 23 points. Ackerman individually shot 70 percent from the field in the first half of play keeping the Lions close. Ackerman is shown driving with the basketball in the second half.
Scorebook photo
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