Irish lose to HBR, settle for sixth place
PLANO — Despite entering the Plano Christmas Classic with serious aspirations of taking home its top prize as the No. 2 seed, the Seneca Fighting Irish were relegated to a sixth-place finish on Saturday night as they dropped a 53-36 decision to the Hinckley-Big Rock Royals in the fifth-place game.
The Irish rode smothering defense to an early lead over the Royals. A huge come-from-behind blocked shot on a fast break by junior forward Austin Applebee early in the first quarter got the Seneca contingent of the crowd in Plano involved, and Seneca held Hinckley-Big Rock to five points in the period, leading by four after a pair of Conlan Callahan free throws with no time left on the clock.
“I thought at the start of the game, defensively we were spot on,” Seneca head coach Russell Witte said. “We didn’t have any issues defensively (early). We stuck to the game plan, but you could tell a few of our kids were spinning in circles offensively.”
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