MUNCIE, IN- The inaugural Fieldhouse Classic was slated to be an exciting event for all of Delaware County. Four inter-county teams competing Delta, Burris, Yorktown, and Muncie Central. Indiana basketball, a historic arena, and an intense environment.
“To come to the field house is on everyone's bucket list,” Muncie Central head coach Justin Ullom said. “To be able to watch a full day of competitive games I think we can really promote Delaware County basketball with this type of event.”
Game 1: Muncie Burris (1-3) vs. Lapel (1-4)
The Muncie Burris Owls and Lapel Bulldogs clashed in a non-conference matchup that opened the Fieldhouse Classic. The Owls are coming off of their first win of the season winning 49-36 over Randolph Southern. On the other hand, the Bulldogs are winless in four contests so far this season.
Burris head coach Blair Broussard commented on playing in the event and getting experience against a non-conference opponent.
“We may potentially see them again in sectional, so it’s a good preview for that to let us know what we’re preparing for,” Broussard said.
Lapel came out dominating Burris on the defensive end and cruised into halftime with a 32-13 lead. The second half was almost no different, with Lapel keeping their foot on the gas pedal, and eventually winning the game 61-23.
Senior forward Asher Donahue led the Owls with eight points.
“I think defense is what’s really going to help us improve,” Donahue said. “We also have to just keep running the offense that the coaches give us because whenever we run it, it’s been working.”
Although it was a blowout game, the Burris bench had fun when the end of bench players got their playtime.
“You know, just everybody’s got to want to sacrifice for each other,” Broussard said. “This is the direction that we’re moving in, and we just have to all be bought in.”
The Owls will be back in action Dec. 12th as they host Monroe Central (0-3). Tip-off is set for 7:30.
Game 2: Yorktown (1-3) vs. Pike (3-1)
Game two of the event was highlighted by the Yorktown Tigers and Pike Red Devils. Yorktown was coming off of a 54-52 loss to local rival Delta, on a game-winner. Pike has had a trio of games so far this year, posting a record of 2-1. Yorktown ended up on the losing end of the scoreboard as the Tigers fell to the Red Devils 48-53.
The highly anticipated matchup was a physical game right after the opening tip. Yorktown had an early lead of eight to begin the game, but from that point on it was a back-and-forth contest. Going into halftime, the game was knotted up, 27-27.
Coach Matt Moulton walked off the court hyping up his team while heading to the locker room.
“We had a tremendously emotional game last night against our county rival,” Moulton said. “We lost on a last-second shot. It’s naturally tough to get up for a game like today, but that’s what competitors do, and the energy showed that.”
The second half mirrored the first, as both teams went back and forth, the game staying physical.
Senior guard Kieran Tewari talked about the physicality of the game saying, “[Pike] was really competitive. They were quick, it’s not really like anything we play around here.”
Yorktown will be on the road in their next contest as they travel to Greenfield-Central (4-0) for their second conference matchup of the season. The game is set to tip-off at 7:30 Dec. 15th.
Game 3: Muncie Central (2-2) vs. Hamilton Heights (1-4)
With the Bearcats hosting the games today at the Fieldhouse, it’s a special day for Delaware County basketball, and Muncie Central head coach Justin Ullom is excited to see the direction things are going in the county.
“A lot of the teams in Delaware County should get the chance to play here,” Ullom said. “Hopefully we can grow this within the next couple of years.”
The Bearcats were coming off their first win of the season last night against Logansport 46-37. While Hamilton Heights was looking to rebound from two straight losses. The Bearcats got the upper hand early on and never let go as they went on to win 53-34 to secure their second straight win.
The game was fast-paced right out of the gate with the ball being whipped across the court by both teams. In the early going the Bearcats made sure to get everyone involved with four players scoring each of their first four baskets.
Ullom has noticed his team spreading the wealth and has loved his team's unselfishness that’s helped them to these wins.
“That’s who we need to be if we’re going to compete in these higher-end games,” Ullom said. “We need four or five guys getting double figures or close to it.”
The purple and white defense was a large key to their success in tonight's game forcing multiple turnovers early and getting chunk scoring from fast-break points. Those points helped the Bearcats to a 31-8 lead going into the locker room.
That defense continued into the second half for Muncie Central. The Bearcats' poster child for defense has been senior Brady McNabb, and he has taken to that role with great pride but loved to see his whole team have energy on that end of the floor.
“We talked a lot,” McNabb said. “We were very active, loud, and brought the energy. Bringing it on defense helped us get steals and get those quick buckets.”
Late in the second half, the Huskies found some footing offensively getting out and running and beating the Bearcats at their own game with fast-break scoring.
“It’s hard to keep everybody focused,” Ullom said. “We ended the first half on a high and the players felt like they’d won the game.”
Despite the efforts by the orange and white, it wasn’t quite enough to dig themselves out of the hole they put themselves in early.
The Bearcats will look to continue their momentum when they travel to Delta (4-1) for their next contest on Dec. 16th. Tip-off is set for 7:30.
Game 4: Delta (4-0) vs. Tipton (4-0)
Coming off of an emotional win over arch-rival Yorktown on Friday, the Delta Eagles were set to do battle with a fellow unbeaten early on in the season.
“Our expectations are high,” Delta head coach Mark Detweiler said. “You want to see good competition and to see a team like Tipton at this point in the year that is so well coached will be a good experience for our guys.”
With both teams coming into the matchup being undefeated, only one could leave with an unblemished record. Delta went on to fall in this matchup 65-61.
Early on it was evident it was be a competitive game with both squads going back and forth. Both teams were well disciplined, limiting turnovers and getting quality looks offensively. For the Eagles, a bulk of the load was carried on both ends by senior D’Amare Hood who ended the night with 17 points and a multitude of steals.
“I knew I had to be big defensively,” Hood said. “Getting those steals and deflections, getting the rebounds and blocks. Those are always big and that’s what the team needs.”
In the second the Eagles ramped up their pressure defensively forcing multiple turnovers and looking to run on the fast break.
With the combination of defense and transition offense, the gold and navy headed into the break with the lead on the Blue Devils 24-23
To open the second half the white and blue turned the tide on the Eagles by ramping up their defensive pressure. They shut down Deltas’ offense for much of the third quarter. The frustration was mounting for Delta, but to recapture some momentum, Hood hit a last-second shot to end the quarter.
“We had some guys step up,” Detweiler said. “They made some big shots to get us the lead.”
That momentum carried into the fourth with the Eagles hitting multiple threes to take the lead early on. Delta held the lead for much of the final period and seemingly had all of the momentum.
The Blue Devils needed a response following the Delta offensive surge, and they got it. After a made free throw from Tipton late, they proceeded to force a turnover on the Eagles and scored again to tie the game forcing overtime.
“We let a lot of plays go that we’ve got to control,” Hood said. “But it’s the beginning of the season so we’ll get that stuff fixed.”
In the extra minutes, the Tipton faithful were loud and rowdy trying to will their team to a victory after recapturing momentum. Delta seemed rattled from the breakdown to the end of regulation, with Tipton scoring the first four points of overtime.
The Eagles couldn’t overcome the early deficit as they dropped their first game of the season.
“You’ve got to close out against a good opponent,” Detweiler said. “I thought we just didn’t execute the last two minutes.”
Delta will be back in action Dec. 15th when they travel to Jay County (2-2). Tip-off is set for 7:30.
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