MENDON – Every high school basketball player wants to start hitting his stride once the playoffs are in sight.
Mendon’s Joe Gales is doing just that and more.
Gales scored 26 points and made two steals to help the Hornets down Cassopolis 73-64 Tuesday night in a non-league game. In the past nine games, Gales has scored more than 20 points in six of those.
He had a lot of help against the Rangers, too. Zach Darmofal added 12 points and Jordan Medich had 10 points, five rebounds and two assists. Marcus Craft also had nine points and two assists.
Mendon (11-2) was zeroed in from the field, making 16 of 30 two-point field goal attempts. It also made 6 of 20 3-pointers.
It was a close game most of the way. The Hornets held a 19-17 lead after the first quarter and were able to increase it to 37-29 at halftime. The Rangers caught fire a bit in the third quarter and cut the lead to five points, 53-48, after three quarters. However, a 20-point burst in the fourth quarter sealed the victory.
“The guys had to battle to get the win tonight,” Mendon coach Dave Swanwick said. “Again, in a tight game they stepped up to the line and knocked down their free throws. Cassopolis matched our athleticism and intensity, which made for an exciting game. It was a good learning experience. We had to work hard to earn this win.”
Brandon Glover led Cassopolis with 20 points and Lynell Ballard added 14 points.
Erik Batten chipped in eight points, Parker Cupp posted six and Kyle Wiswell finished with two for the Hornets.