MUNCIE – Central burst out to a 14-point lead by the end of the first quarter Friday in its boys basketball game against Lafayette Jeff in Muncie Fieldhouse. It was the exact score the Central girls basketball team led by at the end of the first quarter in its game against Lafayette Jeff earlier Friday. But while the Bearcat girls pulled away to a 36-point win, the boys game was destined for an entirely different outcome.
Lafayette Jeff came roaring back in the second quarter, tying the score by halftime. The score was tied again at the end of the fourth quarter, and Lafayette Jeff picked up an 80-71 overtime win against Central.
The Bronchos were effective at the free throw line in the extra period to close out their victory, going 10-for-14 at the foul line in overtime. David Hanyard had a big night for the Bronchos with 32 points, and he continued the production in overtime, scoring five points and going 3-for-4 at the foul line.
Lafayette Jeff (4-5, 2-1 North Central Conference) was also effective on the glass in closing out the win, outrebounding Central 7-3 in overtime. Darian Collins also had a big offensive game for the Bronchos with 21 points, and teammate Dan Ricksy scored 13 points.
Central (5-5, 1-2 NCC) had a huge first quarter to establish a 23-9 lead. Six different Bearcats scored in the first period, led by Phillip Corthen III scoring seven and big man Donald Allen scoring six. The Bearcats forced five Broncho turnovers and didn’t have any turnovers of their own in the period.
But Lafayette Jeff was able to force five Central turnovers in the second quarter, while the Bronchos didn’t have a single turnover in that period. The game was tied at 32 at halftime. Lafayette Jeff then led by three points at the end of the third quarter as the second half remained tight throughout.
The Bronchos led by two points in the final minute of regulation, and Central’s Joseph Morton went to the free throw line with a chance to tie the game with 42.2 seconds remaining. Morton made both free throws, knotting the score at 62.
Lafayette Jeff waited for the last shot on the ensuing possession, but was unable to convert after getting a look on the baseline. A frantic attempt on an offensive rebound also didn’t fall.
The overtime period was tight early, with Ricksy tying the game at 67 on a jump shot with approximately 2:10 remaining. The Bronchos then pulled ahead to a 72-67 advantage, and Central was stuck playing catch-up in the final minute.
Corthen led all Bearcat scorers with 14 points, and Morton added 12. Morton did not attempt a shot until the fourth quarter, scoring all of his points in the fourth quarter or overtime. Duane Clemens scored 10 points for the Bearcats.
Central will play at Noblesville Saturday, while Lafayette Jeff will host Valparaiso the same day.
Contact prep sports reporter Sam Wilson at (765) 213-5807. Follow him on Twitter @SamWilsonTSP.