Hampshire picked up a big conference win, but nobody in the Whip-Purs' locker room was celebrating much. That's because center Tyler Watzlawick went down early in the game with a high ankle injury.
Tyler Crater and Shane Hernandez helped fill the scoring void with 12 points apiece and the Whips didn't need much offense to defeat Marengo, 46-20, in Big Northern East boys basketball action in Hampshire Tuesday night.
But the concern after the game was for Hampshire's leading scorer and rebounder. He went to the hospital for X-rays, but even a best-case scenario would have him missing Friday's conference matchup with North Boone and possibly more time.
"I'm not expecting him back for Friday," said Hampshire coach Bob Barnett. "We'll wait and see what the word is, and I might hold him out for next Tuesday against Genoa."
Hampshire led just 7-6 late in the first quarter, but driving layups by Pat Azizi and David Wilson started an 11-0 run that put Hampshire firmly in control.
The Whip-Purs (17-4, 8-0) were determined to be ready for the Indians' slowdown tactics. Marengo took the air out of the ball in the teams' first meeting in Marengo and the Whips were slow to adjust.
"The last time they came out and stalled and kind of slowed us down a little bit," said Hernandez. "This game was different. We came out strong and got over their slowing down the ball. This time we worked it in and got more touches inside compared to the last game."
Hernandez also had 4 rebounds and 3 blocks. Azizi finished with 9 points and 4 assists. Pat Dumoulin, filling in for Watzlawick, scored 5 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.
Zack Lundquist had 6 points and 9 rebounds for Marengo (5-17, 2-6). Austin Brettschneider added 6 points, but no one else had more than 2.