Blackhawk Christian coach Marc Davidson said he wasn't all that impressed with his team's shooting against Adams Central on Tuesday, as his team missed 19 3-pointers.
But when you defend as effectively as the Braves did, you have plenty of cushion to work with, and Blackhawk Christian showed that aspect of its game as it improved to 9-1 with a 73-23 win.
“That's what we wanted to do, get it started on the defensive end with our pressure and our energy defensively,” Davidson said. “I thought we were able to do that. I don't think we were real sharp offensively. But I told the guys, when you guard like that, you put yourself in a pretty good position, even on a night when you don't shoot it well and you turn it over a little bit.”
Braves junior Zane Burke opened a 6-0 lead by hitting two 3-pointers and finished the night 6 of 9 from behind the arc to lead all scorers with 23 points.
“I thought we had a very good team effort – our team moved the ball really well, and that led to open shots for everyone,” Burke said.
Jets senior Ben Voirol scored to make the score 6-2, but the Braves held Adams Central scoreless for the rest of the quarter, leading 14-2 after the first period and stretching the lead to 22-2 before the Jets scored again.
A late flurry by Adams Central put the score at 38-9 heading into halftime.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was in attendance scout Blackhawk Christian forward Caleb Furst. The junior scored 18 points and had nine rebounds along with two blocked shots. Junior wing Marcus Davidson scored 11 points.
The Jets (2-7) are a young team like Blackhawk Christian (Lucas Van De Weg and Ben Voirol are the only seniors on the Adams Central roster, while Jaylen Morris is the only senior for the Braves), but much of their lineup stands at or under 6-foot, and couldn't do much to stop the 6-foot-10 Furst.
Voirol led the Jets with eight points, and Van De Weg hit Adams Central's only 3-pointer of the night in the fourth quarter. The Jets couldn't keep up with the long-range shooting even on a not-quite-vintage night.
The 23 points given up to Adams Central is by far the lowest the Braves have given up this season. In both the first and third quarters, the Jets hit only one shot from the floor. The Braves have now won six in a row (the previous four wins had all come over Class 4A teams, while Adams Central and Blackhawk Christian are both Class 2A).
“We've shown that we can be really good when we're dialed in defensively, and so that's where we've got to be all the time,” Davidson said. “And we've had that in spurts. We haven't had it all the time. We need defensive focus and energy for 32 minutes. When we do that, I think we're going to put ourselves in a pretty good position.”