Senior staff writer
Franklin Central senior Antyone Jackson made sure that Perry Meridian’s fast start in Friday’s basketball game didn’t last.
The host Falcons trailed 20-19 before the 6-6 forward scored the Flashes’ final six points of the second quarter to take a 26-21 halftime lead. Then in the third quarter he scored six of the team’s first 15 points for a commanding 43-29 lead.
“He had his best game of the year,” Flashes coach John Rockey said. “This was the first time he’s become aggressive and was able to finish around the rim; that’s what we need from him in every game.”
Jackson finished with 13 points and eight rebounds in a contest that started with FC leading scorer Marcus Burk (24.7 points per game) shooting a cold 33 percent (3-of-9) in the first half. Burk wound up with a game-high 22 points, bolstered by 12 points in the fourth quarter, while point guard Jimmy Weinke scored 15 and dished out several assists to break down the Falcons’ defensive pressure.
The Flashes broke the game open by scoring seven points off three fast breaks for a 38-29 lead, which they expanded to 50-33 in the third quarter.
“We competed early against a real good team,” Perry Meridian coach Brent Keck said. “We cut their lead to two points (31-29) but didn’t value the basketball. We had a bunch of empty trips, turnovers and poor shot selection. It kind of snowballed and got away from us.”
The Falcons hit 6-of-12 field goals for a 16-13 first-quarter lead that raised hopes that they could up their 46.6 scoring average. The hot streak didn’t last as PM scored only five points in the second quarter on free throws, going 0-for-8 from the field. In the second half they were 7-of-19.
Senior Jackson Gambrall and junior Nate Mills each scored eight points to lead the Falcons.
“At halftime we looked at our shooting percentage, and it was awful. But I said that we had weathered the storm,” Rockey said. “So let’s get out, play hard and start running the floor. They responded real well in the third quarter.”
The Flashes connected on 27-of-50 field goal tries and outrebounded the Falcons 24-18. PM had 17 turnovers.
Franklin Central (4-1) is off to its best start under Rockey after returning home Saturday and dominating New Palestine 66-40.
The Flashes are 2-0 in Conference Indiana, including a home win against Columbus North 76-68. Burk and Weinke have accounted for slightly more than 50 percent of the team’s points.
“They (Franklin Central) are going to win a ton of games even against their brutal schedule,” Keck said. “They have a lot of weapons, a lot of size and athleticism. That’s the most talent they’ve had in the six years I’ve coached against them.”
Perry Meridian (1-4) bounced back for its first win Saturday against visiting Lebanon, 63-38, in its best offensive and defensive game of the season.
Four Southside teams are in holiday tourneys next week.
Lutheran meets South Decatur at 10 a.m. Monday in the eight-team Edinburgh tourney, with Manual playing Trinity Lutheran at 4 p.m. Second-round and placement games start at 3 p.m. Tuesday; the title game is at 8 p.m.
Franklin Central is in a three-day, 16-team tourney at Richmond and will face Tindley at noon Monday; second-round and placement games are Tuesday and Wednesday at Richmond High or Earlham College.
Greenwood Christian Academy meets North Putnam at 9 a.m. in the eight-team Monrovia tourney Tuesday, with second-round games later that day and placement games Wednesday.
Class 4A No. 4 Roncalli, led by junior Paige Saylor’s 15 points, defeated Brebeuf 55-32 last weekend.
Beech Grove remained unbeaten in Indiana Crossroads play by dominating Park Tudor 61-33; Southport won a Southside duel at Franklin Central 67-47; and Greenwood downed Franklin 80-69 as Holly Hoopengarner scored a school record 42 points for the Woodmen.
Center Grove competes in the eight-team Subway/Columbus North tourney Tuesday at 7:45 p.m. against Merrillville. The Trojans play two games Wednesday; tourney resumes at 10 a.m. with the title game at 7 p.m.
Perry Meridian takes its annual trip to the Warsaw tourney Tuesday, meeting the host team at 10 a.m. with third-place and championship games that night.