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Central Catholic boys escape early deficit, top Crawfordsville

February 24, 2013
Lafayette Central Catholic High School

Jake Churchill and Andrew Hubertz capped Central Catholic’s senior night by combining for 45 points, helping the Knights overcome an early 10-point deficit to beat Crawfordsville 75-63 at McHale Gymnasium on Wednesday night.

Central Catholic, ranked No. 8 in Class A, won its fourth game in a row and its seventh in its last nine contests. The Knights, though, had to work hard for the victory, as the Athenians scored the game’s first 10 points and had a 16-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.

“They came out firing and we got behind,” said Hubertz, who scored 13 of his 22 points in the second quarter. “It was good for us to face a challenge like that with tournament time coming up. We just had to fight and get back in it.”

Seth Lewis’ 3-pointer gave Crawfordsville its 10-0 lead, but it was the 3-point shot that also helped get Central Catholic back in the game. Churchill, who finished the game with 23 points, made three from long range in the first quarter, while Hubertz made three more 3-point shots in the second.

Hubertz’s back-to-back 3-pointers at the end of the first half capped a 15-2 Central Catholic run, erasing an eight-point Athenian lead. The push allowed the Knights to go into halftime with a 31-26 lead.

While CC started cooking on offense, its defense forced Crawfordsville into five turnovers in the last four minutes of the quarter while limiting the Athenians to 1-for-3 shooting. Crawfordsville coach David Pierce said his team couldn’t take advantage of the Knights’ early lapse.

“They went to a 1-3-1 trap and we didn’t handle the pressure real well,” Pierce said. “They were able to get the momentum and take the lead by the end of the half. Churchill and Hubertz hurt us, as we expected, but we had four guys in double figures as well. We just had those little lapses, and if you take those out of the game, we’re right there.”

A Matt Thieme putback with 4:40 left gave Central Catholic a 37-29 lead, but Crawfordsville’s Jake Zurawski and Chandler Pursell nailed back-to-back jumpers to get the Athenians to within four points. Zurawski and Pursell had 15 each, while Lewis and Hank Horner added 13 apiece.

“I think they have a pretty good ball club,” said CC coach Dave Barrett. “They’re big and can shoot it. They made runs against us, but we were able to make some runs. When Andrew and Jake get going, they can be pretty hard to stop. They got us right back in it. All in all, except for the first five to six minutes of the game, I thought we played pretty well.”

The teams combined for 53 points in the fourth quarter. Consecutive baskets by Churchill with 5:50 left in the game pushed the Knights’ lead back up to 16 points, 58-42.

Crawfordsville made five 3-point shots in the fourth quarter while trying to get back into the game. Central Catholic, though, made 11 of 14 free throws over the last two minutes to maintain its double-digit lead.

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