2017 Game 26 Recap:  Abingdon-Avon vs. West Hancock

Box Score

Abingdon-Avon Team Info
West Hancock Team Info


December 30, 2017 will be a date remembered in the Pinkston household for many years to come. Away at his son's wedding, long-time head coach Reno Pinkston’s team won the Macomb-Western Holiday Tournament for the first time as West Hancock topped Abingdon-Avon 45-33. It is the first tournament championship for West Hancock since the co-op was formed for boy’s basketball in 2008.

Just as he did in the Titans’ (15-0) semifinal win over Illini Bluffs earlier in the day, Drake Hammel started red-hot, scoring 10 first quarter points once again. West Hancock outscored A-Town (9-3) 16-4 over a five and a half minute span to open a nine-point lead in the opening frame. Hammel went a perfect 5-for-5 from the field during the run.

The A-Town defense stiffened significantly in the second quarter as the Tornadoes gained their footing. They twice decreased the deficit to two points, including at the first half buzzer, outscoring West Hancock 12-8 in the second quarter. In fact, only one player scored for the Titans in the nine minutes of the half, but that player was eventual tournament MVP, Logan Dorethy, who had eight points during the span.

Dorethy went on to score 10 more points in the second half, in addition to his 10 rebounds on the night. He is the first student-athlete from Hamilton High School to win the MWHT Most Valuable Player Award.

Hunter Darst, who dished out six assists for A-Town, tied the game at 24 off a feed from Calen Mahr after the Tornadoes ran off 1:25 on their first possession of the third quarter. But after shooting 60 percent in the first half, A-Town only managed 33 percent from the field after halftime.

West Hancock tallied the next seven points, and never trailed in the second half. A-Town continued to fight to the end, pulling within four points late in the third, and within six with 4:34 to play in the fourth quarter.  But with the score at 37-31, the Titans put the game away by tallying the next six points for a 43-31 advantage.

In addition to Dorethy, Hammel and Riley Langford were named to the All-Tournament Team. Hammel had 15 points in the game, in addition to four rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Langford recorded eight points and four boards. Just as they did in their quarterfinal win over Brown County, West Hancock failed to make a three-point attempt, going 0-for-3 versus A-Town. Of course, the Titans enjoyed a 30-14 edge in points in the paint.

Graham Struhs led A-Town with 11 points. Ryan Adolphson of A-Town was named to the All-Tournament team.

Brian Sullivan
December 30, 2017
The bracket:
Keep up-to-date on the ever-changing bracket during the tournament by visiting this page.