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Hatchets drop regular season finale

Feb. 24—EVANSVILLE — Evansville Memorial put a stop to Washington's seven-game winning streak with a 67-51 win over the Hatchets on Friday.

Washington (13-9) had won nine of 10 games coming into the contest but Class 3A No.5 Memorial (17-5) proved to tough for the Hatchets. Senior center Tucker Tornatta, a 6-7 Marian University recruit, was dominant for the Tigers, leading all scorers with 29 points. Senior Brady Kendall did the damage from the outside, knocking down five 3-pointers on the way to 19 points.

Washington coach Gene Miiller, whose team completed its best regular season since the 2019-20 campaign, felt his team played well despite the loss and credited Memorial, a perennial SIAC power that always plays well on it home court.

"Tornatta is the real deal. He was fantastic tonight, we just had no answer for him tonight," said Miiller. "He was just phenomenal. We just ran into a buzzsaw.

"They shot ball very well. If they play like that next week, they're the sectional champion," said Miiller. "We didn't play that badly, we scored 51 points, We shot the ball fairly well, we only had nine turnovers. We just couldn't stop them."

Memorial started strong, scoring the first 10 points for the game and leading 20-10 after one quarter, with Tornatta scoring nine points in the quarter. But WHS fought back, outscoring the Tigers 15-7 in the second quarter. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Kaleb Waller tied the game at 25-25 late in the quarter before a basket by Luke Ellspermann gave Memorial a 27-25 halftime lead.

But the second half belonged to Memorial. The Tigers claimed the third quarter 21-8 to forge a 48-33 heading into the fourth quarter and WHS could never get margin into single digits in the final eight minutes of play.

Colton Stowers led WHS with 15 points, followed eight points each from Waller, Chris Meredith, and Cordell Turner. Brant Neidigh and Cooper Wright added six points each.

Memorial won the JV game 60-24.

Washington opens sectional against Pike Central at Princeton on Wednesday.