By Jeff Robison
INDIANAPOLIS — Having held their earlier opposition to 52.5 points per game, the 2012-13 Ben Davis Giants had gained a reputation of being a good defensive basketball team. But the Cathedral Irish, one of the area’s best shooting teams, rained in 12 3-pointers and limited the Giants to 33 points over the last three quarters to pull away for a 73-53 win over their hosts last Friday night.
The game’s outcome certainly was not the way that the six Ben Davis senior players wanted to exit in their final home game.
It was not the way coach Mark James wanted to end the home schedule either, especially with the IHSAA tournament next week.
“We got thumped,” James said. “We just could not find their shooters, and they controlled the tempo of the game with their aggressiveness. We did not respond, and that goes on me.”
An evenly matched, quick tempo first quarter left the two teams even at 20-20. But that changed in the second quarter as Justin Baker (2), Collin Hartman, and Jalen Coleman scored 3-pointers on the first four Cathedral field goals in the quarter, enough for the Irish to separate themselves into a lead they never relinquished.
In the first half alone, the Irish rained in nine shots from beyond the arch, one for each point of their 39-30 halftime edge.
“They hit a high percentage of their threes early,” James said. “And that caused us to panic and get out of our game plan. We’ve had trouble all year defending the three ball, and we did not do it well tonight.”
Already down, the Giants needed a good start to the second half to change momentum. That change did not materialize as the Irish broke out to a 9-0 run after the break.
The Giants never got the score close thereafter, the smallest margin of 11 points coming early in the fourth quarter after Michael Beaty banked in a shot, immediately followed by Kendall Broome collecting a steal and layup to make it 57-46.
Ben Davis senior Tony Wills led all scorers with 17 points, but it was Cathedral’s balance, with four players hitting double figures, that prevailed.
Sophomore standout Jalen Coleman paced the Irish with 16 points, while point guard Justin Baker (15), forward Collin Hartman (13), and wing Garrett Hall (12) also hit double figures.
The only other notable scorer for the Giants was Brennan Gillis, who added 16 points.
Now 13-6, the Giants will finish the regular season at Class 4A No. 7-ranked Indianapolis Tech on Friday night.
“It was more mental — there was no urgency in our movements tonight,” James said. “But the only team that can shoot that well in our sectional is probably Pike. Each game (in the regular season) is a learning process, and hopefully, we can get this straightened out.”
Wills, Broome, Beaty, Deaire Tate, Jeff Wilson, and Marquise Howard were the Ben Davis seniors recognized prior to their final home performance.
Cathedral 20 19 16 18 - 73
Ben Davis 20 10 10 13 - 53
Cathedral (73) — Jalen Coleman 16, Collin Hartman 13, Justin Baker 15, Garrett Hall 12, Collin Barthel 6, Josh Sullen 9, Tiernan Cook 2. Totals: 27 of 44, FT 7 of 11, 3-pt 12 of 22.
Ben Davis (53) — Tony Wills 17, Brennan Gillis 16, Kendall Broome 5, Michael Beaty 6, Deaire Tate 6, Ian Deiters 2, Marquise Howard 1. Totals: 20 of 45, FT 12 of 18, 3-pt 1 of 11.
Turnovers: C 12, BD 10; Fouled Out: None; Three-point goals: C 12 of 22 (Baker 3, Hartman 3, Coleman 3, Hall 2, Sullen), BD 1 of 11 (Wills); Rebounds: C 22 (Coleman 5, Sullen 5); BD 19 (Tate 4, Gillis 4)