JUMP STARTER: Kyle james (22) goes up for two of his team-high 14 points over  Oberlin’s Geoff Simpson in Saturday’s men’s basketball season opener at Collier Arena. (Staff photo by David Hill)
JUMP STARTER: Kyle james (22) goes up for two of his team-high 14 points over Oberlin’s Geoff Simpson in Saturday’s men’s basketball season opener at Collier Arena. (Staff photo by David Hill)
After a somewhat slow start, Hanover's men's basketball team easily disposed of Oberlin (Ohio) 83-41 in the Panthers' season opener Saturday at Collier Arena.

On Sunday, Hanover completed a weekend sweep with a tighter 87-84 win over Denison (Ohio).

Hanover had trouble finding the basket in the early-going of Saturday's game and didn't take the lead until more than five minutes had ticked off the clock.

Oberlin enjoyed a 4-0 lead at the start before being overtaken for good at 5-4 on the first of two Ryan Nowicki free throws with 14:40 remaining in the first half.

"It was a slow start, but once we got going, we played the way we want to play," Hanover coach Jon Miller said. "I thought we did a really good job of defending the ball and taking care of the ball, forcing 23 turnovers and only turned the ball over seven times ourselves."

It didn't take the Panthers too long to take total command of the contest. Hanover's lead increased to double-digits for good after a 3-pointer by Kyle James with 7:23 to go that gave the hosts a 26-14 advantage.

By halftime, James already had 11 of his team-high 14 points, including three 3-pointers, and Tim Bass and Nowicki each had eight.

Hanover increased its lead as the second half progressed. A 3-pointer by Hendricks upped the margin to 41 points at 59-18. Hanover's biggest lead (46 points) came on a 3-pointer by Ethan Black at the 13:42 mark.

The big lead enabled Miller to utilize his entire bench, including Michael Kring, a sophomore from Shawe High School. Kring hit a 3-pointer and a free throw, sophomore Jacob Steinhart scored nine points and Evan Bingham and Michael Van Kleunen scored two each.

Oberlin trimmed the deficit to 36 points late in the game but the Panthers eased back out to the final 42 point margin in the final minute.

"(Oberlin) likes to run the Princeton offense, but our ball pressure took them out of what they were trying to do," Miller said.

Freshman Matt Wehner scored 13 points in his first collegiate game while Hendricks added 12.

Hanover made all but one of its 12 free throw attempts and out-rebounded the Yeomen 48-34. Hanover dominated the visitors' glass, pulling down 27 defensive rebounds to just three offensive rebounds by Oberlin.

Hanover 87, Denison 84

Hanover saw a 19-point second-half lead erode but held off Denison (Ohio) 87-84 Sunday at Collier Arena.

Bass scored a career-high 18 points to lead Hanover. Ryan Nowicki, a senior from Westfield, netted 15 points and James, a sophomore from Indianapolis, added 13 off the Panthers' bench.

Hanover led by 19 points (58-39) early in the second period before Denison rallied to tie the game in the closing two minutes.

James scored 11 points in the first half and Hanover used a 14-6 run in the final six minutes of the period to build a 44-30 lead at halftime.

Bass scored seven points and Nowicki added four as the Panthers increased their cushion to 19 points (58-39) in the opening four minutes of the second half. The squads swapped buckets over the next seven minutes and Hanover led 75-57 after a Bass 3-pointer with 9:07 on the clock.

Then Denison mounted its run.

The Big Red (2-1) outscored Hanover 27-9 over a seven-minute span and eventually tied the game 84-84. Freshman Darrius White hit 3-pointer during the rally, including the game-tying basket with 2:18 to play.

Brian Gunter, a senior from Louisville, Ky., snagged an offensive rebound and his putback nudged Hanover ahead 86-84 inside the final minute.

Denison missed a 3-point attempt on its next trip down the floor and Nowicki, fouled with 18 seconds left, converted 1-of-2 free throws for the final margin.

The Panthers' defense harassed the Big Red into a rushed 3-point shot that caromed off the mark at the buzzer.

Hanover has posted victories in all seven games against Denison. Three of the previous five clashes have been decided by three points or fewer.

The Panthers were 31-of-63 from the floor (49.2 percent) and hit 11 3-pointers. The Big Red, meanwhile, shot 64.5 percent from the field in the second period (20-of-31) and 32-of-58 overall (55.2 percent).

Hanover earned a 36-24 advantage on the glass. Desmond Marks, a sophomore from Bloomington, led the effort with eight rebounds.

Briggs King scored a game-high 21 points to pace four Denison players in double figures. Robby Weingart added 15 points off the bench.

Hanover, now 2-0, hosts Centre (Ky.) on Sunday in the annual Collier Classic game.

---

HANOVER'S WEEKEND BOXSCORES

Saturday's Game

at Hanover

HANOVER 83, OBERLIN 41

OBERLIN (0-1) - (f)Simpson 17, (g)Little 11, (g)Fox 9, Gorland 2, Black 2, (g)Lewis 0, (c)Ollie 0, Walker 0, Sant 0, Campbell 0, Flatt 0.



HANOVER (1-0) - James 14, Wehner 13, (g)Hendricks 12, Steinhart 9, (g)Bass 8, (g)Nowicki 8, (c)Marks 6, Kring 4, Black 3, (f)Gunter 2, Bingham 2, Van Kleunen 2, Hanke 0.



Halftime - Hanover 46-16. 3-Point Goals - Oberlin 6 (Little 3, Simpson 2, Fox 1), Hanover 12 (James 4, Wehner 3, Hendricks 2, Kring 1, Black 1, Steinhart 1). Rebounds - Oberlin 34 (Fox 12), Hanover 48 (Marks 8). Assists - Oberlin

4 (Fox 3), Hanover Hanover 15 (Bass 3). Turnovers - Oberlin 23, Hanover 7. Total Fouls - Oberlin 15, Hanover 20. Free Throws - Oberlin 11-19, Hanover 11-12.Technical Fouls - Oberlin: Little; Hanover: Team. Fouled Out - Oberlin: Ollie.

---

SUNDAY'S GAME

at Hanover

HANOVER 87, DENISON 84

DENISON (2-1) - (f)King 21, Weingart 15, White 12, (c)Hale 11, (f)Longi 9, (g)Bret Woolard 4, Brad Woolard 4, (g)Akpapunam 3, Bridges 3, Keller 2, Barnes 0.



HANOVER (2-0) - (g)Bass 18, (g)Nowicki 15, James 13, (f)Gunter 9, Wehner 7, Van Kleunen 7, (f)Marks 5, Steinhart 5, (g)Hendricks 4, Kring 4, Bingham 0.



Halftime - Hanover 44-30. 3-Point Goals - Denison 15 (Weingart 5, King 4, White 4, Akpapunam 1, Bridges 1), Hanover 11 (Bass 3, Nowicki 3, Gunter 1, James 1, Wehner 1, Steinhart 1, Van Kleunen 1). Rebounds - Denison 24 (Hale 7), Hanover 36 (Marks 8). Assists - Denison 19 (Longi 9), Hanover 17 (James 4). Turnovers - Denison 10, Hanover 10. Total Fouls - Denison 19, Hanover 13. Free Throws - Denison 5-10, Hanover 14-24. Fouled Out - None. Next Game - Hanover hosts Centre (Ky.) Sunday.