The host Lawrence Central Bears saw to it that the Beech Grove Hornets would make an abrupt exit from this week’s Marion County Boys Basketball Tournament, shooting 52 per cent from the field (on 28-of-54 firing) in a 82-39 rout of the visitors in Tuesday night’s first-round action at Lawrence Central High School.
Lawrence Central (11-2), ranked third in the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association poll, placed three players in double figures. Junior Dre Davis led the way with 21 points, five assists and four blocked shots. Senior Jake Laravia scored 20 points and corralled 10 rebounds while junior Nijel Pack added 16 points, six rebounds and five assists.
Junior Jajuan Allison led the Hornets (6-4) with 17 points, but LC used its athleticism to its advantage, outrebounding Beech Grove 37-15. The Bears had more defensive boards (24) than the Hornets’ combined total of offensive and defensive rebounds (15).
Tuesday night’s effort by Coach Mike Renfro’s ball club at Lawrence Central was considered listless as LC exposed a lot of weaknesses by the Hornets during the first-round defeat. The Hornets look to rectify a lot of those weaknesses between now and next Wednesday night when they travel to the 7,124-seat Southport Fieldhouse to take on the host Southport Cardinals. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday’s defeat put an end to a two-game winning streak Beech Grove had assembled during first-round action of the tournament (defeated Franklin Central 76-66 two years ago and Speedway 54-51 last season).