Senior staff writer
Beech Grove’s boys basketball team overcame its first loss of the season Friday against Park Tudor but rebounded Saturday with a hard fought 63-57 overtime win over Manual to remain undefeated on Matt English Court. “We were disappointed in losing the night before,” said Hornets cohead coach Mike Renfro, who was filling in for the ailing Matt English, who died Monday.
“For us to come back the way we did tonight says a lot about overcoming adversity. This was a game when the next man had to step up and that’s what happened.”
Indeed, Beech Grove junior Jajuan Allison, a 6-3 forward, battled the taller Redskins and came up with four crucial free throws in overtime on his way to a break-out 28-point night with nine rebounds. Allison had 14 points in the first half and had help from sharpshooting senior John Parker with 21 points, including 15 points in the second half.
“We kept fighting; we wanted to protect our home court,” Renfro said. “Jajuan came through for us, and our senior leadership came through for us.”
The lead changed hands six times and was tied eight times; the final time with 5.5 seconds in regulation on junior Romeo Echols field goal. In overtime, Allison’s four free throws and two more by Parker moved the Hornets (4-1) ahead 59-53 with 50 seconds left.
Each team had its share of foul trouble. BG’s 6-6 Josh Fryar and 6-5 Gavin Hess fouled out in the fourth quarter. Manual guard Montez McNair also fouled out, and 6-8 Jalen Johnson was saddled with his fourth foul with six minutes left in regulation. Johnson and Caleb Redman each scored 16 points, and McNair added 14. Manual (4-2) shot a 30 percent, 18-of-60, from the field.
“We missed our share of layups,” Manual coach Donnie Bowling said. “We had our share of foul trouble early, but this game boiled down to making shots.” Elsewhere, cold shooting also doomed Center Grove as Pike hit 75 percent from the field (33-of-44) and stunned the Trojans 84-44; Greenwood fell to Franklin, 52-36. In the Forum Credit Union Tipoff Classic at Southport, Frankton edged the Cardinals 49-47 in overtime and national powerhouse LaLumiere defeated Center Grove 62-48.
In Southside matchups, Greenwood Christian downed Lutheran 80-51, and Perry Meridian dumped Whiteland 41-33. Upcoming games (7:30 p.m.) – Friday: Center Grove at Whiteland, Zionsville at Franklin Central, Southwestern at Lutheran, Plainfield at Perry Meridian. Saturday: Avon at Center Grove, Speedway at Greenwood, Scecina at Roncalli. Tuesday: Beech Grove at Greenwood, Lawrence North at Manual.