Mercer scores nine as Indiana Junior All-Stars down Kentucky in overtime
GREENFIELD — James Blackmon Jr. drilled a huge 3-point shot in overtime to lead the IndyStar.com Indiana Junior All-Stars boys to a 108-102 victory over Kentucky in the first round basketball home-and-home doubleheaders at Greenfield-Central High School on Friday.
Blackmon, a 6-2 guard who will play at Marion as a senior, poured in a game-high 27 points, and Trevon Bluiett of Park Tudor chipped in 17 points as Indiana moved to 2-1 in the second year of the Junior series against Kentucky.
Earlier, Whitney Jennings of Logansport scored 23 points and Kellie Kirkhoff of Roncalli added 17 as the Indiana girls defeated Kentucky 79-67 to move to 3-0 in their series against the Bluegrass girls.
The Indiana Junior All-Stars will square off in another doubleheader against Kentucky today at St. Xavier High School in Louisville. The girls game begins at 5 p.m., and the boys game will follow.
In Friday’s boys game, Indiana rallied from a 71-60 deficit with around 10 minutes to go in regulation to pull out the decision in the game played in two 20-minute halves with a five-minute overtime.
Blackmon sank two free throws, Bluiett added a fast-break layup, and Blackmon hit a 3-pointer to get the Hoosiers back into the game as Indiana finally took an 82-81 lead on a dunk by Fort Wayne Concordia’s D.J. McCall off a steal and assist from Plymouth’s Mack Mercer.
The teams went back and forth through the remainder of regulation before two Mercer free throws and 1-of-2 charity tosses by Tech’s Trey Lyles gave the Hoosiers a 90-87 edge with 20.5 seconds to go in regulation. But Kelan Martin of Louisville Ballard countered with a 3-pointer from the right side with 7.8 seconds showing to tie the game at 90. A contested, long Blackmon 3-point attempt would not fall at the buzzer, forcing overtime.
Mercer began the extra period with a 3-pointer from the left wing, and Bluiett followed with a 10-footer from the left baseline after an offensive rebound. Kentucky’s Martin responded with a 3-pointer and Indiana led by three when Blackmon buried a 3-point dagger for a 102-96 advantage with 1:26 to go.
Bluiett followed with a driving reverse lay-in with 47 seconds to go, then Frankton’s Aaron Korn and Blackmon added layups over the final 35 seconds to seal the result.
Korn finished with 12 points, Greensburg’s Bryant McIntosh chipped in 10 points and Mercer and McCall each contributed nine points to the Indiana effort.
Cris Cunningham of Lexington Henry Clay scored 20 points, Perry County Central’s Justin Johnson tallied 18 points and Martin had 16 points to pace Kentucky. Trey Grundy of Lexington Henry Clay also reached double figures with 10 points.
• INDIANA 108, KENTUCKY 102
At Junior All-Star game at Greenfield
KENTUCKY BOYS (102): Brent Bach 2 0-0 4, Cris Cunningham 8 4-5 20, Jackson Davis 5 2-2 12, Jordan Green 3 0-1 7, Trey Grundy 4 1-2 10, Darion Burns 3 2-2 8, Trent Gilbert 2 0-0 5, Hunter Skelton 1 0-0 2, Justin Johnson 8 2-4 18, Kelan Martin 6 2-3 16. Totals: 42 13-19 102.
INDIANA BOYS (108): James Blackmon Jr. 9 7-8 27, JaQuan Lyle 0 0-0 0, Trey Lyles 1- 4-6 6, Tayler Persons 2 2-2 6, Mack Mercer 3 2-3 9, Bryant McIntosh 5 0-0 10, C.J. Coleman 1 0-0 3, D.J. McCall 2 5-6 9, Trevon Bluiett 8 0-1 17, Aaron Korn 5 0-1 12, Grant Evans 1 0-0 3, Tyler Wideman 2 2-6 6; Totals: 39 22-33 108.
Halftime score: Kentucky 45, Indiana 39.
End of regulation: Indiana 90, Kentucky 90.
3-point goals: Kentucky 5 (Martin 2, Green 1, Grundy 1, Gilbert 1), Indiana 8 (Blackmon 2, Korn 2, Coleman 1, Bluiett 1, Evans 1, Mercer 1).
Total fouls: Kentucky 21, Indiana 14; Fouled out: Davis, Mercer.