INDIANAPOLIS — Tournament level intensity isn’t supposed to arrive on the second full weekend of the basketball season. Yet, last Friday night, the fans’ fever pitch and the players’ determination levels were piqued as the Pike Red Devils boys’ basketball team rallied in the final four minutes from a 10-point deficit to defeat host Ben Davis, 64-63.
Pike, which had fallen behind 60-50 with just less than four minutes in the final quarter, claimed the lead when Zavier Turner drove the lane and dished to Kendall Rollins for the winning score with 12.8 seconds left.
The Giants, who were playing just their second game of the year, were unable to close the deal, despite a game-high 26 points from senior Tony Wills.
“We played not to lose instead of to win,” Ben Davis coach Mark James said. “For the second game of the year, we’re happy with what happened, but we’re not pleased with the fact that we got beat. But we got better, and that’s what we asked the kids to do before the game.”
Though the final score had been determined, the Giants lived plenty of drama before losing. Wills lost the ball to Rutherford on a drive, but his attempt for a timeout was overruled for being on the end line.
Ben Davis got three attempts in the final 4.9 second, but nothing fell in.
Credit much of the Giants’ demise to Pike’s intense pressure on defense. The Giants turned the ball over nine times in the final quarter, and gave the ball away 15 times after the break, much to the chagrin of James.
“We hadn’t seen that kind of pressure,” James said. “We made too many turnovers in the fourth quarter, but that’s on the coaching. I didn’t have my team prepared enough to handle the pressure. Against Pike, if you turn it over, you’re in trouble. They’re just too athletic and too good of team (to do that against).”