Basketball

Boys hoops: Ben Davis tops Brebeuf to reach county quarterfinals

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FILE — Ben Davis started off hot and held off Brebeuf Jesuit in opening round action of the Marion County tournament.

FILE — Ben Davis started off hot and held off Brebeuf Jesuit in opening round action of the Marion County tournament.

Ben Davis coach Mark James had to settle for three good quarters Tuesday night, as the Giants beat visiting Brebeuf Jesuit 62-51 in the opening round of the Marion County boys basketball tournament.

Jalen Newsom had 17 points, including a perfect 5-of-5 from 3-point range, to lead a balanced scoring effort. Defensively, Ben Davis held Brebeuf to just five baskets inside the arc.

“We got a little lazy with the basketball and fouled too much in the second half, but our kids played hard and that’s a tough team to beat,” James said.

Ben Davis (9-3) will travel to North Central for Wednesday’s quarterfinal against the unbeaten and Class 4A top-ranked Panthers, who beat the Giants 68-57 last Friday.

“They’re so athletic, block out well inside and if you let up at all, they blow right by you,” James said. “You have to match their mental toughness. We’ll see how we do.”

Tuesday’s contest was a rematch of a Dec. 30 meeting in which Ben Davis prevailed 56-52. This time around, Brebeuf spent the night clawing out of an early hole.

“We didn’t dribble in the first quarter. We did later, and that’s how we came back,” said Braves coach Todd Howard. “They couldn’t miss early on, and when they did, we didn’t get the rebound. We did a ton of great things to get it close.”

Two 3s by Newsom and back-to-back steals for baskets from Datrion Harper and R.J. Turner helped give Ben Davis a 10-point lead in the first quarter, which the Giants pushed as high as 16 in the second period.

Brebeuf (8-4) had two makes from two-point range in the first half, while three 3s by Simon Banks kept the Braves remotely in the game with a 38-26 deficit at the break.

When Ben Davis got sloppy with the ball in the later part of the third quarter, Brebeuf cashed in. Spencer Reist had eight points in the period, including two big 3s, as the Braves cut a 14-point deficit to four.

A six-point Ben Davis spurt to start the fourth gave the Giants a double-digit cushion, but Brebeuf again trimmed it to four with three minutes left. Two layups through traffic by Aaron Henry helped seal the win, as Ben Davis finished on a 10-3 run.

“Aaron made some nice plays at the end,” James said. “We have a lot of guys who can step up and play. We just have to play to improve.”

BEN DAVIS 62, BREBEUF 51

Brebeuf      11        15         16         9       —  51

Ben Davis      19         19       8        16       —  62

Brebeuf (8-4) — Rice 1 5-6 7, Reist 4 4-7 15, White 2 0-0 5, Fitzgerald 1 0-0 2, Banks 5 4-6 18, Trabue 0 0-0 0, Haubry 0 4-4 4. Totals 6 17-23 51.

Ben Davis (9-3) — Harper 2 3-4 7, Maul 0 0-0 0, Tunstill 0 0-0 0, Brewer 0 0-0 0, Windham 2 4-4 9, Newsom 5 2-2 17, Turner 2 0-0 4, Bush 3 3-3 9, Henry 4 1-1 10, Finch 3 0-1 6. Totals: 21 13-15 62.

3-point goals: Brebeuf 8 (Banks 4, Reist 3, White), Ben Davis 7 (Newsom 5, Windham, Henry)