Center Grove’s best three-year run in boys’ basketball history at the high school came to an end Saturday in the Washington semistate. The sectional and regional champion Trojans battled against Ben Davis and cut the Giants’ lead to 2 points ((37-35), but were doomed by a 15-2 run before falling, 67-61. The Giants turned it around on CG which defeated BD 56-45 during the season.
Sparked by six seniors, the Trojans have a best-ever threeyear record of 57-25 with two Johnson County titles, three sectional trophies, one regional crown and a strong semistate effort. Coach Zach Hahn’s fifth season at the helm ended one win short of reaching the 4A state championship game.
Against Ben Davis, the Trojans trailed most of the game but closed to five points with three minutes left in the game. CG, plagued by nine turnovers, trailed 27-20 at the half. Mr. Basketball candidate and Indiana University recruit 6-9 Trayce Jackson-Davis scored a game-high 34 points, including 9 points in a fourth-quarter run.
Davis is also a McDonald’s All-American, Indiana’s Gatorade player of the year and earned a gold medal with Team USA at the 2018 FIBA Americas Championships in Canada. Seniors Jackson-Davis, 6-5 Ben Nicoson who is revered for the Hoops for Haskins fundraising drive, 6-1 Ben Greller, 6-5 Lucas Doyle, 6-0 spencer Piercefield and 6-0 Cameron Petty leave a legacy for future seniors. Junior Justin DeGraaf and sophomore Tayvon Jackson are expected to lead next year’s returnees.
Coach Hahn has a record of 80 wins and 50 losses at Center Grove where he has fashioned a winning basketball culture while competing in the state’s toughest conference and against upset-minded teams in Johnson County. The Trojans capped the 2018-2019 Southside season by reaching the Final Four in class 4A.
Beech Grove (18-8) and Greenwood Christian Academy (16-11) each won sectional trophies and reached regional title games. Indianapolis Conference champion Manual (16-9) reached the sectional finale against Beech Grove.
Southport under first-year coach Eric Brand finished 11-13; Perry Meridian 9-13; Lutheran 9-13; Greenwood 9-14; and Roncalli 5-17. Franklin Central finished 3-20 in coach John Rockey’s final season courtside after eight years. The Flashes won two of their last three regular season games and pushed Center Grove before falling 48-42 in a sectional semifinal thriller. Rockey’s trademark was bringing the Flashes to a peak at tourney time by winning four straight sectional titles. The Flashes reached regional title games in 2013 after going 9-10 and in 2015 after a 5-15 mark.