Center Grove’s 40-point loss to Pike on Friday elicited some stunned responses in Central Indiana high school basketball circles.
“That’s not who we are as a team at all,” Center Grove senior Trayce Jackson-Davis said.
Center Grove, the third-ranked team in the state in Class 4A, battled nationally ranked La Lumiere for three quarters on Saturday night in the nightcap of the six-game Forum Credit Union Tipoff Classic. The result was a 62-48 loss, but it felt and looked much different than Friday night’s ambush at Pike.
Jackson-Davis, the 6-9 senior and Indiana recruit, finished with 18 points in front of his future coach, Archie Miller. But La Lumiere senior Keion Brooks Jr., whom Jackson-Davis is hoping to lure to Bloomington, led the way with 22 points and 14 rebounds.
“It was good to play against him,” Jackson-Davis said. “I wish I could have guarded him a little more, but that’s just kind of how the game went.”
Center Grove’s task was not only to attempt to slow down Brooks, but another top-20 recruit in 6-9 senior Isaiah Stewart. The Trojans (4-2) accomplished that goal much of the game, trailing just 42-39 at the start of the fourth quarter. Stewart asserted his dominance in the fourth quarter, scoring 12 of his 22 points. He also finished with a game-high 14 rebounds.
Kentucky coach John Calipari was in the gym to see Brooks Jr. and Stewart and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was also in the building to see Brooks.
“That star power just kind of took over,” Jackson-Davis said. “Keion played really well and hit all of his shots. There’s nothing you can really do when you get a hand in his face. And Stewart came in when we helped off and he scored. We tried, but that’s a great team.”