The depth of Huntington’s bench was tested Feb. 3 as Indiana Wesleyan University routed the Foresters 93-62 in Platt Arena.
With senior guard Alec Peterson out with an injury, the Foresters started three sophomores and two freshmen against three upperclassmen and two of the hottest sophomores in the Crossroads League.
Sophomore Derek Hinen left the game halfway through the first half with an ankle injury Without one of his top re-bounders and his star point guard, head coach Ty Platt reconfigured his offense.
Sophomores Daniel Woll and Kyle Pipenger struggled in the paint while Trevor Lucas lead the Foresters with 20 points.
“It was a tough loss, but experience like that is really valuable not only for me, but for all the other freshmen as well,” Lucas said. “I think [the team] showed that we have a lot of potential–I don’t like to use that word – but we do have potential, we just have to get in the weight room and get stronger. With experience we’ll continue to get better.”
Sophomore Drew Benedict said that Hinen’s injury and Woll “struggling” played a factor in the tough loss. He credited the two with being “night in and night out our best scorers and our best offensive players” for the team.
“Obviously, it hurt when Derek went down because he’s a huge part of our offense,” Benedict said. “We had guys step in. Indiana Wesleyan is a great team. They’re going to battle you defensively all the way up the court and down the court. We battled them, but I think guys stepped in and played pretty well.”
HU (4-9 in CL, 14-11 overall), still fighting to secure its spot in the upcoming League tournament, sits in the eighth spot. The next game is against Goshen College at home Feb. 7.
“We have to get healthy,” Platt said. “And then I think we need to get refocused and put the loss behind us.”
Looking ahead to the looming conference tournament, the team is focused on making sure it can secure a spot, he said.
“We just need to try to stay with the mindset of getting better and getting ready to play in a conference tournament and making sure we’re in it,” Platt said. “Each day is a grind, and it’s a battle. I think our guys will hit it head on.”