FLOYDS KNOBS, Ind – Facing a first-half deficit at home Saturday night against Evansville Harrison, Floyd Central’s Cobie Barnes nabbed a defensive rebound and made his way up the court. The 6-foot-5 sophomore dribbled into the paint before finding junior Matt Weimer open on the left wing for a 3-pointer. Instead, though, Weimer opted to feed junior Evan Nichols on the block for a bucket.
With two minutes remaining in said contest, and with the game on the line, the Highlanders’ unselfishness was on display once again. Weimer dished to junior Luke Gohmann in the paint, who took a dribble to draw two defenders. The result was a bounce pass to Barnes under the basket, who gave Floyd Central a pivotal two-point lead down the stretch.
The Highlanders (15-3) extended their unbeaten streak to 11 games Saturday night behind the 61-56 overtime win over Harrison, and according to coach Todd Sturgeon, Floyd Central’s willingness to share the rock has paved way for its recent success.
“I do think that makes a difference on our team,” Sturgeon said, “that guys like Cobie and Luke – our two leading scorers – that they don’t get into, ‘I have to make a play and go in there.’ … We’ve gotten better. Our motor is running a little hotter than it was earlier in the year.”
With 2:26 left in regulation, Floyd Central trailed 50-42 before turning in an 8-2 run, capped by a 3-pointer from senior Tyler Kimm, to cut its deficit to two with 33.4 seconds remaining. After a Barnes block on the other end, Weimer got fouled and made both free throws to send the game to overtime.
“I do remember one play (in particular),” Sturgeon said. “That was us being down two points and Weimer knocking in those free throws. It’s one thing in a tie game and you step up and make it, but you miss either one, we lose. He stepped up and knocked them in.”
Weimer and Barnes combined for all nine Floyd Central overtime points. Harrison knotted the score twice in the extra period, but a Barnes basket from Kimm with 41.6 seconds left put the Highlanders on top for good. After beating 10 straight foes by an average of 25 points per, Sturgeon said a challenge was welcomed.
“We needed a game like that,” Sturgeon said. “It’s been awhile since we’ve had a game closer than 10 points. In fact, I told the team at halftime, ‘Hey, let’s embrace this.’ … We need to get ready for the postseason.”
The Highlanders’ 11 straight wins are their most since the 1989 final-four team. Floyd Central, No. 19 in the latest non-class coaches poll and No. 12 in the Class 4A rankings, matched last season’s win total with the victory.
Barnes led the way for Floyd Central with 15 points and eight rebounds, and Gohmann added 13 and seven boards. Senior big man Trevor Apple had 12 points, and Weimer tallied eight points and five assists. As a team, Floyd Central recorded 17 assists. Those numbers, Gohmann said, are a theme for the streaking Highlanders.
“The unselfishness has been great – everybody has been passing the ball,” Gohmann said. “ … Everybody is really passive toward each other, which sometimes is great, but other times it can be a little much. (But) it’s been great lately.”
Floyd Central 61, Evansville Harrison 56, OT
Highlanders (15-3): Cobie Barnes 15p, 8r; Luke Gohmann 13p, 7r, 3a; Trevor Apple 12p, 3r; Matt Weimer 8p, 5a; Tyler Kimm 6p, 3a; Brendan Hobson 5p; Evan Nichols 2p
Warriors (11-8): De’Ante Booker 16p, 5r; Rilee Epley 18p; Robin Duncan 8p, 4a; Isaiah Edinburgh 8p; Ja’Korion Lindsey 3p; Brandon Duncan 3p