The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, January 15, 2019 11:20 pm

Blackhawk Christian 59, Wayne 54

No. 1 Blackhawk Christian rallies past Wayne

VICTORIA JACOBSEN | The Journal Gazette

As Blackhawk coach Marc Davidson said, preparing for Wayne is a headache for any team.

Craig Young is, in Davidson's words, a "matchup nightmare." Darius Alexander, at 6-foot-6, is difficult to contend with, even for a team that has 6-foot-10 Caleb Furst. Michael Redding is one of the best shooters in the area. And that's all before Shawn Ferrell gets going.

Which is why the Braves' 59-54 win at Wayne on Monday night was so encouraging.

"It's a good win, and that's what I told the boys, that team's going to win a lot of games, especially with the addition of Craig," Davidson said. "They're hard to defend, and they defend well. They guard the rim well, and I thought we did a good job of getting the ball to Caleb. We got some easy shots in there."

The Generals (7-6) led 25-21 at halftime, but after the break Redding got really hot, scoring 12 points in the third quarter. Ferrell also reeled off four baskets as the lead grew to as many as seven points. 

"We went to a half-court trap a little bit in the third quarter, and Redding got lose on us a few times, so we went back to man," Davidson said. "And I thought in the fourth quarter, our man-to-man defense was not perfect, but it was pretty good."

Furst was, as usual, nearly unstoppable under the basket, and scored 21 of his 23 points in the first three quarters to keep the Class A No. 1 Braves (11-2) in the game. He also had 11 rebounds. 

"I thought we brought really good defensive energy," Davidson said. "We knew rebounding was going to be really important coming into the game, so that was a real focus for us. I thought that our second-half rebounding was really good. I thought we really limited their second half opportunities."

Frank Davidson had struggled for much of the game, sitting out much of the first half after picking up two quick fouls and then picking up his fourth in the third quarter. He had been limited to five points, all of them off of free throws, through the first three quarters. But he finally hit his first field goal of the night to open the fourth quarter, cutting Wayne's lead to three points. A 3-pointer from Trinity Clark tied the game at 47. 

Blackhawk took a 57-52 lead, which Redding cut to a one-possession game with 48 seconds to go. The Braves tried to dribble out the clock, but turned the ball over with 37 seconds left to go. Redding missed a shot in the lane, and Davidson was fouled with 10.7 seconds to go, making both free throws. Now down five, Wayne lost control of the ball on a final desperate play.  

Davidson scored 12 points in the final period to finish with 17. 

"We knew it was a matter of time, where he would get his rhythm," Marc Davidson said. "And we look to Frankie, really, to carry us. And that doesn't mean he has to shoot every time, but we trust his decision making and we trust he knows where to go with the basketball. And so I thought we did a good job of finding him at key spots in the fourth quarter. We got some big baskets. We're fortunate to get the lead, and then got the stops that we needed to secure the win." 

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