In Blackhawk Christian's clash with Indianapolis Cathedral on Friday, the Braves had the hot hand early, but the Irish warmed to the task and came away with an 86-78 win.
The Braves (17-2) hit five 3-pointers in the first quarter and by the final seconds of the quarter were leading by 15. But two can play at that game. The Irish (15-2), the No. 6 team in the latest IBCA coaches poll, hit 10 3-pointers, including three by Vincent Brady in the second quarter alone that powered Cathedral to 32 points in the quarter and enabled it to wrestle the lead from No. 2 Blackhawk Christian just before halftime.
“Offensively, we played a pretty efficient game. They're really tough defensively, they're not easy to score on,” Blackhawk Christian coach Marc Davidson said. “I thought we did some good things. They're obviously very hard to guard, especially when they shoot the ball the way they did, they were 10 of 16 from the 3-point line. When they're making shots like that, it becomes really difficult to guard them.”
The Irish lead grew to 12 points during the third quarter as Tayshawn Comer became a bigger and bigger problem for the Braves. He scored nine of his 21 points in the third quarter, and his aggressiveness driving to the basket helped him get to the free throw line five times over the course of the game.
Blackhawk Christian senior Caleb Furst kept the Braves from falling too far behind by scoring nine points in the third quarter, including a dunk that gave a lift to the home team.
Blackhawk trailed 69-59 heading into the final quarter. A steal and bucket by Marcus Davidson capped a 6-0 run that cut Cathedral's lead to 77-71, and a Callan Wood 3-pointer with 1:28 to play shrank the Irish lead to 81-76. Cathedral left the door ajar by missing five of 14 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter, including several taken because the Braves fouled late to get the ball back, but those Blackhawk Christian shots that were falling so effortlessly in the first quarter just didn't hit in the final few minutes.
“I feel like we took a lot of good shots, they just didn't fall,” Zane Burke said of the final few minutes of play. “We took a pretty good shot at them, we moved the ball well, we did a lot of these right, but one of the things we can work on is our defense and we're going to improve that going forward.”
Burke scored nine points in the fourth quarter to finish with a game-high 25. Furst did not score in the final period and finished with 21 points. Wood scored 13 and Marcus Davidson 11.
Brady led the Irish with 24 points, Comer scored 21 and Jaxon Edwards 20. Jaron Tibbs had 12.
“The experience is invaluable for us, when you play a game like that, it feels like you gain three or four games worth of experience in a single game,” Marc Davidson said. “They're a very good basketball team, and they obviously played very well tonight.”