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Warren Central defeats top-ranked Cathedral at VYPE Game of the Week
December 3, 2012VYPE MAGAZINE - Central Indiana
By Jason Haddix
For VYPE Magazine (Central Indiana)
INDIANAPOLIS—It was billed as the VYPE Game of the Week, but as the seconds ticked off the clock during Class 4A No. 8 Warren Central’s matchup against top-ranked Cathedral, it clearly had all the makings of a game of the year.
Devin Davis Jr. opened his senior year with a career performance on Friday night for Warren Central as the high-profile prospect led the Warriors to a thrilling 61-60 victory.
“I am not going to say it means everything, but it was a big step for our team,” Davis Jr. said. “At times we were better than them and at times they were better than us. We have to continue to work because we know we will see them again.”
The 6-foot-6 Indiana University commit poured in a career-best 30 points and pulled down 15 rebounds during the season opener for both programs.
“A coach I had over the fall told me to play the game until I hurt,” Davis Jr. said. “I am hurting right now; that is all I was trying to do … is hurt.”
His performance earned him VYPE’s Most Valuable Player honor.
The game was a back-and-forth battle throughout as Cathedral – playing without IU recruit Collin Hartman due to concussion-like symptoms – jumped out early before Warren Central stormed back.
However, No. 1 Cathedral wouldn’t stop despite losing its grip on an early lead.
Cathedral’s comeback attempt began with 1:36 left in the game. The Irish were down 61-52 when senior Mo Evans drained two key free throws. He and fellow senior Garrett Hall hit back-to-back 3-pointers, drawing the Irish within one with just under a minute left in regulation.
Warren Central took possession and miss handled the ball on the sideline near their bench and turned the ball over to Cathedral with 30.3 seconds on the scoreboard.
Evan’s played for the final shot and missed, but the ball was knocked out of bounds by Warren Central’s Jordan Garnett with 1.7 seconds on the clock.
“We had opportunities down the stretch,” Cathedral coach Andy Fagan said. “We called some sets and our guys didn’t execute them, which is disappointing. It is stuff we have been doing for three years.”
Warren Central’s stingy defense forced an erratic inbounds pass but the luck of the Irish was on Cathedral’s side as the ball went out-of-bounds off of the Warrior’s Jaraan Lands.
The clock expired but the officials huddled after the play and placed 0.3 seconds back on.
“I think for the last 30 seconds of the ballgame we did a great job defensively making sure they didn’t get any easy looks,” Warren Central coach Greg Graham said.
Evans tossed it into Hall at the top of the key, but he was not able to beat the buzzer.
Cathedral had a chance to pull away in the second quarter as their defense tightened to hold the Warriors to eight points – all coming in the final three minutes of the quarter.
Davis said after the team’s eight-point output in the second quarter, coach Graham stressed to keep the floor spaced, improve screens and to keep moving with the ball.
“That was the one stretch where when we built that seven-point lead like we did we then we gave up back-to-back transition buckets,” Fagan said. “That got them back in the game … we gave them a little confidence heading into the locker room.”
The teams played to a 42 all tie after three quarters, setting up a dramatic final eight minutes.
Jordan Garnett had a critical steal in the fourth quarter that led to a basket and a foul for a three-point play. His eight points in the quarter and 18 for the game were key for the Warriors.
“We have been waiting on this kid since he was a freshman,” Graham said of Garnett. “He shows glimpses of what he can do. We just have to get him more mature. When he is active, Jordan Garnett is our X-factor. Nobody knows about him, but he made some big plays.”
Hartman, who suffered his injury during practice, will not see in-game action until he is 100 percent, according to coach Fagan.
“I told Collin at the end that I wish he was playing,” Graham said. “I don’t want anybody taking away from our win by saying they didn’t have Collin Hartman.
“I thought Devin Davis and Collin Hartman would have been a great matchup tonight,” Graham added. “It would have been must see TV.”
Cathedral, arguably one of the deepest teams locally, turned to seniors Evans and Hall to lead the way. Evans ended with 18 points while Hall dropped in 17.
“Collin is a tremendous player, and of course, he would have had a positive impact for our team,” Fagan said. “But, we’re a program that is always going to have multiple guys that can do multiple things. We would have loved to have him, but we didn’t and that is the way it is.”
Graham said a win is a win, but he added his team has some work to do if they want to continue to be successful.
“I am giving everyone a scouting report,” Graham said. “If we take care of the basketball and make free throws, I don’t think there is a team that can beat us.”
Despite only four players putting points on the board for Warren Central, Davis likes their chances this season.
“We have so many more guys that can score in different ways,” Davis said. “We are going to be special.”