MOUNT VERNON — No Charlie Phillips? No problem for the Yellow Jackets.
Ben Hoar scored enough for both of them.
Hoar totalled 30 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Mount Vernon boys basketball team to a 65-42 home conference win over Franklin Heights on Friday, emphatically ending the team’s four-game losing streak.
The Jackets took the court without Phillips for the first time this season. Phillips, who’s averaging 7 1/2 points and three assists per game, is suffering from a torn ligament in his wrist. He sat in a white suit on the bench and watched his team go to work on the Falcons.
Phillips, no doubt, was pleased with the show the Yellow Jackets put on.
The last time the two teams met, on Dec. 17, it took overtime to decide the game. This time, Mount Vernon decided the game well before anyone even thought of overtime.
Hoar took over in the third period. When the Jackets’ lead shrank from 14 points down to five, Hoar started his run. He scored 14 of Mount Vernon’s 15 points in a five-minute stretch in the third period. He dominated inside the paint againt Frankin Heights’ post players. Even though the Falcons’ Charles Westbrook is the same height (6-foot-3), he couldn’t match Hoar’s strength and sheer determination.
“We knew Charlie was out, and someone needed to step up. When we ran practice yesterday, we ran the offense through me. Get it to me, I score. If they double-down, I kick it out to Riley (Swanson) or Will (O’Hara), and just let the offense flow.”
“(Hoar) has that capability,” Mount Vernon head coach Kurt Kaufman said. “He’s really good finishing around the basket, and gets off the floor quick. But he doesn’t do that if we don’t get the ball to him.”
Credit belongs to the rest of the team, who found ways to get Hoar the ball. Seth Badger, Swanson, O’Hara, Brad Fenton and Daniel Kelly all landed at least one assist.
The student section chanted, “Hoar! Hoar! Hoar!” as he approached his 30th point. When he came off the court for the last time, Phillips was one of the first to greet him.
“We were lacking confidence the last couple of games,” Hoar said. “This gives us confidence. That win was needed.”
Mount Vernon had the fewest turnovers at home all year on Friday, managing just 10, including only one in the entire second half.
Defensively, the Yellow Jackets dominated in the paint. As a team, they outrebounded Franklin Heights throughout the contest. The Falcons managed just one offensive rebound until late in the fourth quarter, when the game was well out of reach.