Underclassman Jones sparks team to victory over Eagles
CENTERBURG — A tired and slightly banged-up Centerburg Trojans basketball team kicked it into gear in the second half to put away the visiting Delaware Christian Eagles in a Tuesday non-league matchup, 42-35.
The Centerburg offense, led by Carter Jones, turned it on the second quarter and took charge for good in the second half. Jones led his team in scoring with 23 points, as well as rebounds (14) and steals (3).
“We came out a bit slow, but we adjusted pretty well to it,” Jones said.
The feisty Eagles used their quickness at the game’s outset, getting some steals and keeping the score tight. Dayne Johnson of the Eagles, came up with three first-half steals and teammate Nathan Stewart sank a pair of 3-pointers. That, and the Eagles aggressive defense, was enough to keep the Eagles hovering within a point or two of the Trojans until well into the second quarter.
Jones stepped outside the arc to hit the first of his two free throws in the game late in the first half. Then, Jones got a putback in the final minute of the opening half to help give the Trojans some breathing room, 20-14. Jones came right back out to open the second half with two more putbacks, drawing a foul on one of them, putting the Trojans firmly on top, 25-16. Jones had seven of the Trojans’ 11 offensive rebounds in the game.
“During the offseason, especially, I try to work more on my outside game,” Jones said. “My size helps inside. Nobody is selfish on our team and that really helps. If we need buckets, anyone can get them for the most part. We share the ball and we enjoy helping each other get buckets.”
Hayden Hankinson (14 points) followed Jones’ outburst with a bucket and then, Jones landed another 3-pointer and had another putback, giving the Trojans a comfortable 32-18 lead, near the end of the third quarter.
Missing on the sidelines on Tuesday evening was Centerburg varsity coach Skyler Brusco, who was sick. In his place was assistant coach Paul Gregory.
“(Delaware Christian) is an athletic, scrappy bunch of guys,” Gregory said. “We just made sure we got the ball to our big guys and we made sure we rebounded. Our guys were under the board, when the ball went up, to get some extra shots and they did a good job of that. We stuck with the plan. We just try to do the same things better, each game.”
Jack Gregory led the Centerburg jayvee with 16 points to defeat the Eagles’ jayvee, 62-26.
The Trojans will visit Northmor on Friday for a Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference matchup at 7 p.m.
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