Any concerns that Friday’s quadruple overtime win over Mt. Vernon (Fortville) would hinder the Connersville Spartans against Indianapolis Manual Saturday evening were gone just minutes into the game.
CHS took control early and held on throughout to beat the Redskins, 68-54, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Senior wingman Grant Smith scored 20 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and threw down a pair of dunks — the first off a missed 3-pointer in the first quarter — as the Spartans improved to 17-1.
Manual, rated No. 4 in Class 3A and a team that was averaging a state-best 83 points a game, falls to 13-3.
The game was one of four in ‘The Really Big Basketball Show 2017’ at The Fieldhouse, a one-day event sponsored by Compton Strategies LLC.
Smith also had 4 assists and 3 steals, and made 7-of-8 shots, including all three 3-point tries.
Three other players also scored in double figures for the Spartans, who raced to an 11-4 advantage, led 18-12 after one quarter and used a 13-1 scoring burst in the second period to open a 31-13 lead.
Point guard Garrett Silcott finished with 15 points — 7 coming in the opening quarter — 6 assists and 2 steals. A junior, Silcott was named to the event’s All-Academic team.
Center Dalton Huffman made his presence felt in a big way, scoring 12 points and banging bodies with the Redskins’ taller players all night.
Huffman scored 7 points in the third quarter — 5 straight that allowed head coach Kerry Brown’s squad to maintain a 14-point lead.
A 3-pointer by Hunter Sullenbarger late in the quarter helped CHS take a 53-37 lead into the final 8 minutes.
Beau Isaacs had 10 points and a pair of steals for the winners, Noah Belt scored 7 points and dished 3 assists, Sullenbarger finished with 3 points and Braxton Revalee made 1-of-2 free throws.
Everyone in uniform played, all of the CHS players who regularly come off the bench as well as Clay Garrison and Dylan Logan, talented Jr. Spartans who dressed for the game.
Courvoisier McCauley, the state’s leading scorer (29.9 ppg), scored 26 points to lead Manual. He had just 3 points in the opening quarter when CHS was taking control of things and shot just 11-of-25 from the floor, 2-of-10 on 3-pointers. Cameron Sembly added 9 points and T.J. Waldon had 8.
Connersville has a week off before the Centerville Bulldogs visit Spartan Bowl on Feb. 4. The Bulldogs (6-8) lost to 2A No. 14 Shenandoah, 47-38, tonight. The varsity game will begin at 1:30 p.m.
(At Bankers Life Fieldhouse)
Connersville 68, Indianapolis Manual 54
Indianapolis Pike 63, Pendleton Heights 58
Mt. Vernon (Fortville) 64, Delta 44
McCutcheon 73, Danville 39
Connersville area / games of interest
Cambridge City Lincoln 75, Daleville 40
Union County 74, Jac-Cen-Del 34
Franklin County 61, Oxford Talawanda 53
Richmond 44, Winchester 41
East Central 68, North Decatur 63
Carmel 61, New Castle 58
Shenandoah 47, Centerville 38
Hauser 51, Batesville 36
Greenfield-Central 57, Bedford North Lawrence 47
Northeastern 67, Liberty Christian 38
Tri 54, Southwestern (Shelby) 51
Blue River 72, Union City 35
Mr. Pizza, Cambridge City
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