The top boys basketball teams in the St. Joseph Valley League squared off on Friday night and Mendon got the better of White Pigeon again this season, this time to the tune of a 78-60 victory.
Joe Gales was at the center of Mendon’s prolific offensive performance. He led all scorers with 26 points, including three buckets from behind the 3-point arc, and secured 15 rebounds for the Hornets, which improved to 8-2 overall and 3-0 in the league.
“It was a good win and my teammates found me when I was open and I was shooting well,” Gales said.
Gales had plenty of support from his friends in this one, though. Jordan Medich was 7-for-10 from the field and finished with 16 points — 10 in the third quarter. Erik Batten added 12 points for the Hornets while Zach Darmofal tacked on 10.
Dylan Hochstetler and Mitchell Moore didn’t go down without a fight for White Pigeon (5-8, 2-2). Hochstetler went toe-to-toe with the Hornets for 24 points and six rebounds. Moore added 20 points and seven boards to the effort.
“We played really hard as a team,” Moore said. “We were fighting back hard after we got down, but they were hitting shots when they needed it and their coach called a really smart timeout. They came right back at us. It was a good game I thought. They earned that win; they hustled hard.
The Hornets showed some quick hands and discipline with the ball in the outing. They limited themselves to seven turnovers, while recording 13 steals.
With the win, Mendon holds fast at the top of the SJV standings.
“Great win for the Hornets tonight in an always tough White Pigeon gym,” Mendon coach Dave Swanwick said. “Coach [Tony] Cholometes had his Chiefs ready to play. The game was closer than the score indicates; we had great team effort to put ourselves into position to win an outright SJV title. Joe Gales was a monster on the boards for us tonight.”