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Bears get quick jump, leave Trojans behind

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Lawrence Central didn’t wait to start scoring, getting a quick basket just seconds after taking the opening tip.

And the Bears didn’t let up.

They stretched a 15-0 lead to 20-2 and never looked back on their way to a 66-53 victory at Center Grove in a Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference game Thursday night.

“(The Bears) got out on us so quick, and we spent our whole night trying to make it up,” Center Grove coach Cliff Hawkins said.

Center Grove tried to rally, getting to within nine points early in the third quarter, but the Bears just kept shooting, and making, shots.

Lawrence Central hit 23 of 43 (53.5 percent) field goals, including makes on 8 of 15 3-pointers, with sophomore Kyle Guy leading the way with a game-high 21 points, making 4 of 7 3-pointers.

“It’s kind of the same story,” Hawkins said. “Our inconsistencies continue to show.”

Center Grove junior Michael Benkert scored a team-high 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds. But the Trojans shot 17 of 53 (32.1 percent) from the field and only 6 of 29 (20.7 percent) from behind the 3-point line, although several misses came in the final minutes when the game was out of reach.

“It comes down to, if we make some shots, we’re going to be all right,” Hawkins said. “We just don’t have much margin for error right now.”

And getting behind big early didn’t help matters.

After the opening tip, the Bears drilled 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to take an 8-0 lead, forcing Center Grove’s first timeout just 2:10 into the game.

After the timeout, the Bears kept going, stretching the lead to 15-0 just four minutes into the game. At one point, they led 20-2.

But Center Grove didn’t panic.

Its bench stepped up, scoring 13 points at halftime, led by junior Carson Lee’s nine points (3 of 4 3-pointers).

But the Bears led 37-26 at halftime behind 14-of-22 shooting. They made 7 of 10 3-pointers, paced by Guy, who had 16 points on 6-of-6 shooting (4 of 4 3-pointers).

The Trojans (7-9) have dropped five consecutive games and still are searching for their first win in the MIC.

Center Grove’s next game is Tuesday at Mooresville.

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