DAILY JOURNAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
For Center Grove High School coach Zach Hahn, it’s been like watching the same show over and over.
“We have to find a way when teams are pressing us to execute offensively,” Hahn said. “So far that’s what we haven’t been able to do. Offensively it’s been our Achilles’ heel all year that we’re turning the ball over in half court and giving up easy layups.”
Friday night, host Carmel took advantage of 17 Trojans turnovers en route to a 56-42 victory in Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference boys basketball action.
“You turn the ball over more than 10 times against any team, you are going to be in trouble,” said Hahn, whose team’s fell to 4-6 and 0-2 in the MIC. “You have to credit Carmel.
“They did a good job getting in the passing lanes, and we weren’t tough with the basketball.”
The Greyhounds broke a 16-all tie by scoring the final seven points of the first half and led the rest of the way.
Carmel expanded the lead to 42-24 early in the fourth quarter before the Trojans made a run, cutting it to 42-35 with less than three minutes. However, Carmel held a 14-7 advantage the rest of the way, closing it out at the free-throw line.
“They’re tough,” Hahn said. “They’ve got good players. They are sharp with the basketball. They defend really well. They’re bigger in size. They beat us. They defend well and got in passing lanes and created easy baskets for themselves. Outside of the turnovers for easy baskets, they really took tough shots all night.
“We blocked out. I thought we guard well. We defend excellent in the half court.”
Carmel coach Scott Heady said his team had some lapses to allow the Trojans’ 11-0 run.
“We had some missed free throws, some turnovers and were fouling them,” Heady said. “The things you don’t want to do at the end of the game with a lead — all three of those things we were doing. We kind of got regrouped with a couple of minutes to go. Overall, we did a lot of good things.
“I’m just disappointed with how we finished.”
Carmel was 17 of 22 from the foul line. Center Grove made 11 of 16 free throws.
Carmel senior Preston Flamion was high for the Greyhounds (6-3, 1-2) with 24 points, hitting all six free throws.
“He did a lot of good things,” Heady said. “He defended and rebounded. We got a lot of good contributions from a lot of guys.”
Junior Sterling Brown and senior center Trenton Richardson each eight points for the Greyhounds.
The Trojans were led by senior guard Bailey Barrett with 12 points. Junior Travis Roehling scored all seven points in the fourth quarter for Center Grove.
“That freshman (6-6 forward Trayce Jackson-Davis) they have is going to be really good,” Heady said. “He’s good now.”
The Trojans play visiting Edinburgh in the Johnson County tournament on Tuesday night.
“We’ve got a chance to play some teams that have already beaten us,” said Hahn, whose team has lost to Whiteland and Franklin. “We’re going to play an Edinburgh team that is going to want to beat us.”