Senior staff writer
Manual discovered again that defense wins basketball games.
The Redskins switched their defense in the second half and forced 12 Beech Grove turnovers for a come-from-behind 73-67 win Saturday at The Hive.
Beech Grove built a 32-20 lead in the second quarter with crisp passing and sharp shooting but Manual went on a 11-2 run to cut the lead to three points by halftime.
“We were scouted so we went with a different (zone) defense than they expected in the first half,” Manual coach Don Bowling said. “We went with our 1-3-1 zone in the second half and it worked for us. That’s what teams expect us to use, so it was not a real surprise. I thought it was something we needed.”
Manual forced eight turnovers and took a 43-41 lead on T.J. Waldon’s layup, but it was tied at 45 at the end of the third quarter. Courvoisier McCauley’s 3-pointer gave the Redskins a 48-47 lead that they never relinquished.
Ironically, Manual (3-1) missed its first seven three throws in the first half but hit 5-of-6 in the final 35 seconds after Beech Grove (2-2) had closed to 68-67 on Kenny Washington’s 5-foot shot.
McCauley, a 6-5 senior, led Manual with a game-high 25 points and seven rebounds and got plenty of help from 6-7 sophomore Jalen Johnson, 17 points and 13 rebounds; 6-6 senior Cameron Sembly, 16 points, and 6-5 senior Waldon, 10.
McCauley scored the final five points of the second quarter and added 11 points in the fourth quarter.
“The team feeds off McCauley,” Bowling said. “When he gets going on offense, the defense seems to pick up more.”
McCauley came into the game with a 34-point average after pumping in 40 points Friday in defeating Indianapolis Home School 89-73.
The Hornets were led by 6-2 junior Jalyn Curry’s 18 points off the bench. Junior Dylan Allen added 16 points, 6-1 Kenny Washington 14 and Montrez Hearon 10.
“We knew this would be a hard game because they are so good offensively and so explosively athletically,” Beech Grove coach Matt English said. “We had that one stretch late in the first half when we got loose with the ball. We had our chances in the second half but their length and athleticism caused us to turn the ball over too many times.”
The Hornets committed 20 turnovers while Manual had 12 miscues. Manual outrebounded Beech Grove 32-24. Both teams hit close to .500 from the field – Beech Grove 25-of-52 and Manual 27-of-55.
In other action, Lutheran downed Greenwood Christian Academy 60-49 after outscoring the visiting Cougars 37-20 in the second half. Tyler Johnson, 22 points, and Brandon Perry, 17, led the Saints.
Lafayette Central Catholic handed visiting Roncalli its first loss in four games 58-56 Friday, and winless Southport fell to South Bend Riley 61-51 in the Forum Tipoff Classic.
Upcoming games, 7:30 p.m., unless noted: Friday: Center Grove at Whiteland, Brebeuf at Roncalli, Perry Meridian at Franklin Central, Southwestern at Lutheran at 8 p.m., Northwest at Manual at 8 p.m.; Saturday: Avon at Center Grove, Speedway at Greenwood, Tuesday: Beech Grove at Greenwood.