Boys basketball team wins thriller against North Central

A shot in the final seconds puts the Giants on top

By no means was it pretty. There’s no smooth sailing when you commit 17 turnovers, are without your star player and are facing the second-ranked team in the state on their home court. In fact, that sounds like a recipe for disaster.

And it was. For North Central.

In what was undoubtedly the most exciting Ben Davis boys basketball game of the season, the Giants defeated the second-ranked North Central Panthers 51-50 Friday night.

The Giants started off the game hot, starting the game on a 10-2 run. However, turnovers got the better of them (nine in the first quarter) and they found themselves trailing at the end of the first quarter.

North Central’s success continued into the second quarter behind their loud home crowd. The Giants trailed at halftime 22-16.

Ben Davis wasn’t done yet, however, and outscored the Panthers in the third quarter 21-11, making the score 37-33. The perfect setup for a classic finish.

In a quarter that was neck-and-neck the whole way, the Panthers took the lead 50-48 with 43 seconds left. After advancing the ball past half-court, the Giants took a timeout to draw up their game-tying (or winning) play.

Junior Ian Deiters took the inbound and passed to senior DeShon Tate. Tate drove to the bucket but was blocked by a Panther defender. The student section of North Central roars. That roaring did not last.

Tate chased down the block and found himself in the corner of the court. He immediately turned around and nailed a three-pointer in front of a much taller defender. Now it was Ben Davis’ turn to roar.

While the Giants had taken the lead 51-50, the game was not over yet. With 6.5 seconds left on the clock, the Panthers had a decent shot at stealing the game. Two decent shots.

North Central’s Wes Stowers took the inbounds and drove down the court, throwing up a jumper that rims off. With time still left on the clock, North Central’s Kris Wilkes rebounded but his putback met the same fate. The Giant victory was sealed.

The loss was North Central’s first of the season, giving them a 9-1 record. The Giants improved to 7-3 on the season, with an impressive 4-0 record in the MIC. The win also netted them the “King of the County” trophy, a traveling trophy that the Giants will hold until another team within the county can dethrone them.

Holding onto to that trophy will be a tough task, as the Marion County tournament begins tomorrow with the Giants hosting Indianapolis Lutheran. Since the trophy goes to the next Marion county team that beats Ben Davis, the Giants will have to win the tournament to remain “King of the County”.

But, as previously stated, it won’t be easy. The Giants haven’t won the Marion County tournament since 1995, and will still be without star senior Brennan Gillis throughout the tournament. However, as they proved on Friday, this team is capable of beating anyone.

The tournament will last until Saturday. But for now, let’s just enjoy this stellar win.