INDIANAPOLIS — After Columbus North’s Evan Henry nailed a game-tying 3-pointer with 16 seconds left in Friday night’s Conference Indiana showdown, Pike coach Bill Zych eschewed the timeout.
Zych and the Red Devils already knew who would be handling the basketball and taking the last shot.
Ball State recruit Zavier Turner dribbled out most of the clock, then hit a jumper from the right wing at the buzzer to give the Class 4A
No. 2 Red Devils a 76-74 win.
“I didn’t want to call timeout because I know they didn’t have any timeouts left, so they couldn’t set their defense,” said Zych, who notched his 300th career coaching victory. “Zavier Turner has been playing basketball since he was a freshman here at Pike, and we work on those situations. He chose to just make a one-on-one play. He has some options, and he just made the play and made the shot.”
The Bull Dogs (4-1, 1-1) made plays all night to stay in the game against last year’s state runner-up.
Trailing by 11 points midway through the third quarter, they battled back to take a 67-66 lead on a three-point play by Josh Speidel with 4:02 left in the game.
Pike (6-0, 2-0) scored the next six points to take a five-point lead, but North answered with a basket by Tori Jackson and two free throws from Evan Henry to cut it to 72-71. The Red Devils’ Kendall Rollins missed the front end of a one-and-one with 46 seconds left, but Speidel was called for a foul while grabbing the rebound, and Taishaun Johnson hit two free throws to put Pike back up by three.
Henry missed a shot with 20 second left, and the Red Devils rebounded, but were called for traveling.
Henry then hit the game-tying 3-pointer, setting up Pike’s final shot.
“It was a fadeaway, 17-footer with a hand in his face,” North coach Jason Speer said. “You can’t ask for much more out of a defensive possession than that. We’re not going to feel sorry for ourselves. The kid hits a tough shot. We know that we fought for 32 minutes.”
Speidel and Jackson each scored 16 points to lead the Bull Dogs, who went 11 of 29 from 3-point range.
Sawyer Glick added 15 points and Henry had 13.
“I thought that we played really tough,” Speer said. “We executed. We got the ball into scoring positions.”
“I thought both teams played well offensively,” Zych said. “It was an exciting game. I give Columbus a lot of credit. We’d get to eight points and think that we’d have a knockout punch, and they’d come back and make a big shot or get to the foul line. It was one of those games that went down to the end, and fortunately for us, we made one more play than they did to win the game.”
North led 22-18 after scoring the final eight points of the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Red Devils went on an 18-8 run to take a 40-34 lead. North battled back to within 47-45 when Paul Salee banked in a half-court shot at the buzzer at half.
Pike began the second half with an 11-2 run to take its largest lead at 58-47, but the Bull Dogs fought back.
“We adjusted to the speed of the game very well, I thought, and I think we even dictated probably even some of the speed in the second half, so that was a testament to the kids executing the game plan,” Speer said. “They just did a tremendous job.
“We’re not going to hang our heads,” he said. “This is mid-December. We have loftier goals to accomplish.”