HSE upends No. 6 LC; No. 4 Pike gets past Fishers
Tigers freshman Willie Jackson
delivers stellar performance.
Writer / Mark Morrow
The Fishers and Hamilton Southeastern boys basketball teams went toe-to-toe with state-ranked teams this week.
HSE knocked off host and No. 6 Lawrence Central 64-58 on Friday night, and moved to 8-4 going into tonight’s visit against Warren Central (7-6), which is on a 3-game tailspin after Friday’s 53-51 loss to Lawrence North.
Zach Gunn continued to lead the way for the Royals with 20 points, followed by Greg Miller (11), Conner Rotterman (9) and Brennan Schofield (8). Gunn also pulled down 11 rebounds.
Fishers, which surprised No. 10 Ben Davis in the closing seconds earlier this week, was competitive again on Friday, but couldn’t quite get the job done against No. 4 Pike, which pulled out a 77-67 victory in the Tigers Den.
Though Fishers fell to 4-7 on the season and doesn’t play again until Brownsburg visits for a Hoosier Crossroads Conference game on Jan. 15, don’t be surprised to see the Tigers finally find a little more consistency and start causing some commotion.
The steady play of Cam Wolter (18 points) and Lance Dollison (12 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals) caused Pike a lot of problems, but freshman guard Willie Jackson made quite an impression, scoring 19 points (4-of-5 shooting and 11-of-12 free throws) and handling himself quite well in pretty much all facets of the game.
For sure, Jackson didn’t look, act or play like a freshman. He simply resembled a seasoned player who was comfortable on the court and right at home doing what he was doing.
Starting his second game on varsity this season, the extremely quick 5-10 guard is now averaging right at 15.0 points after those starts.
“They told me that if I did well on junior varsity that they would move me up. I was averaging 19 points for JV ball.’’ said Jackson, who also made 10 straight free throws before a miss, and he used his driving ability to get to the line.
“I saw opportunity to take jumpers but we were in the bonus early in the game. I knew they were going to foul if I drove, so I drove to the basket. I shoot about 100 free throws each day. I’ve always been a pretty good shooter from the line.
Jackson scored 12 of his points in the first half, keeping the Tigers within striking distance of the Red Devils 45-34 at halftime.
He scored 7 points in the third quarter, and Wolter made all 5 of his shots by muscling inside, and scored 16 of his points in the second half, and the Tigers found themselves trailing only 58-54 going into the final 8 minutes.
Junior Justin Roberts, surely one of the better guards in the state, made a lot of big shots and scored 26 points in helping Pike stay out front. He was quick and made several uncanny shots, including 4 long corner bombs.
Fishers drew as close as 5 points midway in the third quarter on a Zach Eaton 3-pointer. Eaton finished with 5 points and 3 assists.
The Tigers, however, never got closer than 6 points in the fourth quarter. Doillison made his first free throw after being fouled on a drive, missed his second, and then got the rebound and scored to make it 69-63 with 1:31 remaining.
“I thought we played pretty well against a good (Pike) team,’’ Jackson said. “We’re coming together and we know we can play with a lot of those teams.’’