Being in a giving mood helped the Indiana boys beat Ohio for a third straight year in the 20th annual Nancy Rehm/Border Wars Classic on Saturday.
Indiana came away with a 99-81 win at Saint Francis by spreading the wealth, and there was plenty to go around.
They made it a nice experience because they shared the basketball, and they guarded, said Indiana coach Chris Benedict, the coach at Columbia City. When you come into an all-star situation like this, if you do those two things you can have a pretty good time because it will allow your talents to come through and everybody will get the opportunity to do those things.
You let things come to you and then you are just playing basketball. If you try to go out there and just do your own thing from the start because it is an all-star situation, it will lead to bad things.
Indiana put four players in double figures scoring and three others finished with nine points. Davis Rao led Indiana with 14 points and was named MVP.
We played as a team, Rao said. None of us were out there trying to score every time we touched it. We just wanted to be on top ultimately at the end of the game. We played as a team, and it showed on the scoreboard.
The 18-point margin fell short of Indianas best of 25 points in 1996.
Its a really fun process because we get to come here and play with the best players from the city and the best players from northwest Ohio area, Rao said of the Nancy Rehm/Border Wars Classic, sponsored by The Journal Gazette and McDonalds.
There are a lot of good players out here and it is really good competition and a lot of fun to get out here and run up and down the court with a lot of future college players.
Kyle Fillman added 13 points, Jordyn Coon 11 and Andy Bachman 10. Logan Irwin, Quilyn Howard-Upshaw and Andy Bachman each had nine. Benedict also credit Irwin, who scored over 2,000 career points, with his pressure defense.
I would say defense is my strongest point because I love playing it, and it makes it easier for the offense, Irwin said.
Indiana made 40 of 73 (55 percent) from the field and had 12 assists.
The northeast Indiana all-stars held the best from northwest Ohio to 32 of 79 (41 percent) shooting.
It is a great event, playing with great kids and unselfish kids, Irwin said. How we put the team together in two days is just amazing.
Shawn Flanagan and Tory Guilliam each scored 15 for Ohio.
Indiana made 18 of 35 (51 percent) from the field in the first half, while Ohio was 12 of 32 (38 percent).
Notes: Winners of the three-point shooting contest were Ohios Liz Aller (girls) and Indianas Jordyn Coon (boys). Indianas Kendan Lewis won the slam-dunk contest.