By Ryan Palencer
INDIANAPOLIS — Behind a quick start and a game high 21 points from Brennan Gillis, the Ben Davis boys’ basketball team defeated visiting Brownsburg 64-55 last Saturday night.
“When you start off the game (hot), a lot of times you run into a bad spell,” Ben Davis coach Mark James said. “We did and we fought through it and came up with a couple of plays and were lucky enough to win. We played pretty well offensively in the first half and the second half, we didn’t play nearly as well. I attribute a lot of that to the way that they played.”
Gillis got off to a hot start for the Giants (5-1), scoring the first six points of the game.
As a team, Ben Davis began the game on a 17-5 run. It was this run that set Brownsburg (2-5) against the wall.
“I thought that our effort was great,” Brownsburg coach Ronald Nored said. “We were down 15-5, and after that, we won the game. We came out and they just punked us early. We took a big blow and just couldn’t recover from it.”
After playing even with the Giants through the middle of the game, the Bulldogs went in a different direction to get back in it.
“We played five guards at the end of the game and they were scrappy, they got after it, and I think they played really well together,” Nored said.
With 5:45 remaining in the game, Kenneth Walton stole a pass and scored on a fastbreak layup to pull the Bulldogs within nine at 54-45. Nored realizes that it was the defensive effort that led to the comeback as well.
“Early on, (I was not very pleased with the defense),” Nored said. “Defense is something that we want to be our calling card and we didn’t do that early. Because we weren’t doing that early, they were scoring and we weren’t having opportunities to score. When our defense picked up, we had some opportunities to make some plays and we did that.”
Walton also knocked down a pair of free throws with 1:41 remaining to cut the deficit to six at 59-53. However, it was as close as Brownsburg got and the Giants hung on for the victory.
James said he was pleased with the progression of Gillis’ play as a sophomore.
“(Gillis) is getting better all of the time,” James said. “He just needs to keep working on his game. I don’t think that we probably got him enough touches in the second half.”
In addition to Gillis, Deaire Tate scored 14 points, while Michael Beaty chipped in 11.
Trevor Lucas led the way for Brownsburg with 15 points, while Walton scored 13.
Brownsburg will look to rebound from the defeat, as they battle Bowman Academy on Dec. 21.
Ben Davis looks to build on the victory when they host Lawrence Central Dec. 22.