Senior staff writer
Center Grove 6-9 standout Trayce Jackson-Davis and his teammates have confidence in one another.
It showed Friday night in front of a year-ending crowd at Greenwood as Jackson-Davis dominated the early minutes and led the Trojans to a 66-51 win.
All one of the nation’s top juniors did was score eight of the No. 8 Trojans’ first 10 points on his way to scoring 24 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and blocking four shots. Five of his first six field goals were dunks.
“We like to play inside-out when there is a double-team (defense),” Jackson-Davis said. “We got off to a good start inside. When I kick it out, we have guys who can knock down the 3s.”
Center Grove’s offense created all kinds of problems for Greenwood, and the Trojans’ defense was impressive, holding the Woodmen 10 points below their scoring average.
“We did a nice job defensively pretty much the whole game,” CG coach Zach Hahn said. “We tried to take away their tendencies. They have some good players so I felt really good about that (51 points).
“Trayce was able to assert himself, and our guys were able to find him. And we took good shots throughout the game.”
Nine Trojans scored with guards Spencer Piercefield and Nate McLain tallying 12 and eight points, respectively. Greenwood seniors Brayden Kincaid and Eric Moenkhaus each scored 12.
The Trojans (9-1) face their second Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference foe Friday with a trip to Carmel before the Johnson County tourney next week with another likely meeting against Greenwood (6-2). The Woodmen visit Whiteland in a Mid-State contest Friday.
Holiday break games
The Woodmen handed unbeaten Beech Grove its first loss, 61-58, on junior guard Isaiah Drew’s 3-point buzzer-beater on the Hornets’ floor. The game was tied seven times. Eric Kincaid led Greenwood with 14 of his game-high 16 points in the second half. The Hornets led 48-45 with 1:23 to go.
Beech Grove recovered Dec. 29 at Tri-West, defeating New Palestine 60-52 and the host Bruins 46-44 for the tourney trophy.
With a string of four straight holiday tourney championships on the line, Roncalli defeated Franklin Central 66-53 in the opener of the Rebels’ tourney but fell to undefeated No. 5 Floyd Central 68-46.
Lutheran reached the championship game against tourney host Edinburgh but fell 53-49 after defeating Jac-Cen-Del and South Decatur.
Franklin Central went 1-3 in the annual 16-team Bob Wetig Tournament in Richmond.
Manual defeated Chicago Marshall 69-53 to cap its annual one-day extravaganza.
Marion County tourney pairings
The Marion County boys basketball tournament opens Tuesday at eight sites with each game tipping at 7 p.m.: No. 19 Lawrence Central (6-3) at No. 3 Warren Central (8-0); Perry Meridian (2-6) at defending champion Pike (4-5); Southport (2-6) at No. 16 Lawrence North (6-2); Brebeuf Jesuit (5-3) at Lutheran (2-5); Beech Grove (7-2) at Speedway (1-6); North Central (4-4) at Roncalli (6-2); Decatur Central (5-3) at No. 7 Ben Davis (7-2); Franklin Central (3-8) at Park Tudor (2-7).
Quarterfinals are Jan. 10 with games at Perry Meridian, Lutheran, Roncalli and Franklin Central if they win in the first round.
Southport Fieldhouse is the site of semifinal games at 6 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 12; with the championship at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13.