Trojans fall to Ben Davis

Center Grove overcame a one- dimensional offense through much of Friday night’s boys basketball game against Ben Davis to hang with the Giants.

By the time the host Trojans established another dimension, however, Ben Davis’ Josh Brewer canceled it out.

Brewer, a 6-foot-5 junior wing, buried four fourth-quarter 3-pointers, including back-to-back threes after the Trojans had cut Ben Davis’ lead to four. He finished with a game-high 25 points and helped the Giants to a 63-54 Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference victory.

The loss kept the Trojans winless in MIC play (0-3) and dropped them to 6-8 overall. Ben Davis moved to 9-6 overall, 2-3 in the conference.

The Trojans, who trailed 48-39 with 4:56 remaining, whittled Ben Davis’ lead to 51-47 with 2:31 left after a Trevor Harrell free throw. That’s when Brewer effectively put the game away with consecutive 3-pointers. His four long-range shots came within a 3:05 stretch.

“After he made the first two (fourth-quarter 3-pointers), you’d like to run him off the line,” Center Grove coach Zach Hahn said. “When a guy’s hot, you’ve got to take him out of his game.”

Center Grove virtually lived beyond the 3-point arc for most of the game. All but two of its 23 first-half points came on 3-pointers, and 12 of the Trojans’ 16 field goals for the game came from beyond the arc. The Trojans scored three buckets in the paint in the second half, and got the ball inside enough to generate 15 second-half free-throw attempts after no tries from the stripe in the first half.

“Overall, I was pleased offensively,” Hahn said. “We didn’t turn the ball over much (seven), we drew their guards in and kicked it out in the first half, then looked through the post in the second half.

“But the offensive rebounds midway through the third quarter … that’s what gets you beat against good teams.”

Ben Davis outrebounded Center Grove 29-20, including a 21-9 edge in the second half. The Giants scored six points on putback baskets in the third quarter.

“We were trying to switch four positions and stay on one (Center Grove’s Trayce Jackson-Davis, who finished with eight points, all in the second half),” Ben Davis coach Mark James said. “Center Grove shot the ball well, especially in the first half, and Zach does a good job with those kids.”

Bryce Brown led the Trojans with 16 points, while Harrell and Nate McLain added nine apiece. For Ben Davis, Jalen Newsom complemented Brewer’s effort with 11 points.

“We had eight things we wrote on the board that we wanted to do, and we did six of them,” Hahn said. “We need to do all eight of them right if we want to win.”

Center Grove plays tonight at Roncalli.

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Adam Wire is a sports correspondent for the Daily Journal.