After 31 minutes and 55 seconds of play, all Ben Davis could do was watch as No. 16-ranked Warren Central knocked off the No. 8-rated Giants in the second round of the Marion County Tournament, 43-42.
With just more than five seconds remaining, Kendall Broome connected on a layup that put the Giants within one. Yet with the Giants out of timeouts, Warren Central used the running clock to its advantage and didn’t even have to inbound the ball as time expired.
“I told our guys in the timeout, ‘19 seconds — make them use some clock, don’t give up a three — if they hit a two, just let the ball roll and don’t even take it out,’” Warren Central coach Greg Graham said.
While the Giants found a way to score in the final seconds, they were without leading scorer Tony Wills on the floor. He recorded his fourth foul with 4:26 to play, so Ben Davis coach Mark James sat him for a bit and used the common strategy of subbing him in for offensive plays and subbing him out on defensive plays.
However, the plan backfired when the Giants needed to foul after a 3-pointer from Jordan King that cut the lead to two with 20 seconds left. As the Warriors tried to inbound the ball, the Giants fouled, and since no time expired, Wills was left kneeling in front of the scorer’s table for the remainder of the game.
“The clock just ran out on us,” James said. “Had it gone to overtime, I think we would’ve won. I thought our kids showed a lot of character. We could have folded — I think we were down nine or 10 points — and I like the fact that we came back and made a game out of it.”
After one quarter, it was a 5-4 contest. The teams shot a combined 3 of 21 from the field and Broome had all five points for the Giants, which he scored in the first two minutes of the game.