Indy here they come; CMA defeats #1 New Castle

Trey Galloway and his team mates are greeted by CMA fans after beating #1 New Castle and securing a spot in the state title game.
Ron Haramia
Sports Writer

Now the real No. 1 will be decided.
That is the case in Class 3A high school boys basketball after No. 4 Culver Academy defeated previously top-ranked New Castle, 65-60, in the semistate round at Lafayette Jefferson High School Saturday afternoon.
The state final will be a rematch with third-ranked Evansville Bosse (25-4), the only 3A school to defeat the Eagles (22-6) this season. The game will be played at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Saturday, March 24. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.
“This is fun,” said head coach Mark Galloway, amidst the wild celebration on court after the victory.
As it did in the regional finale, Culver Academy overcame another inauspicious start to the first quarter. This time it made an impressive run to begin the fourth, then milked the game from the free throw line to end the Trojans’ (27-3) season before a large pro-New Castle audience.
The Eagles’ top three scorers – Ethan Brittain-Watts (28), Trey Galloway (16), and Deontae Craig (15) – were able to outscore the Trojans’ impressive two-man junior tag team of guard Luke Bumbalough (29 pts., seven 3s) and 6-foot-7 forward Mason Gillis (23 pts.) that accounted for all but eight of the team’s points.
“He’s good, really quick and a great shooter,” said sophomore Trey Galloway, who drew the assignment of chasing Bumbalough through endless screens. “I had a lot of help-side help, so it was good. That was a special game. We just needed to find a way to get a win.”
It was Galloway’s 3 and inside bucket during the first minute of the final period that, coupled with Craig’s two foul shots then nice feed to Brittain-Watts on a backdoor cut, were part of a 9-1 run that opened up a 46-36 lead with 5:40 to play.
“Once we got that 10-point lead, I wanted the clock to keep running,” admitted Coach Galloway. “We’re hanging on. We’re out of gas.”
With four minutes remaining, the Eagles went to their spread offense. The Trojans did close to 51-47 at the 2:33 mark, but could not get the Academy to turn it over and were forced to foul. Led by Craig (7-of-8), Galloway (5-of-6), and B-W’s (4-of-6) efforts, Culver hit 17-of-25 from the charity stripe as part of a 28-point fourth quarter to withstand New Castle’s comeback bid.
“I thought we did a good job of shot fakes and ball fakes and getting the ball in the right places,” said Galloway of his team’s response to the late-game pressure.
“We just stayed together and stayed confident,” said Brittain-Watts. “We knew they were going to make shots, but we stuck to our game plan and hit shots when we needed to. If they made a run, we knew we would too.”
Galloway led the Academy in rebounding with 10 and dished off three assists, as did Johnny Cohen. Overall, the Eagles snagged a whopping 18 offensive rebounds (three each for Galloway and Craig) leading to a 14-0 advantage in second-chance points.
“Just staying with it, especially with Deontae,” concluded Galloway. “He’s relentless. He’s got a great motor. Trey kept competing. He didn’t let the early free throw misses get in his head. He has mental toughness, which is a great quality for a young kid.”
About three-fourths of the Crawley Center arena was dressed in green, but not because it was St. Patrick’s Day. It was New Castle green, Trojan apparel green. And the large contingent of fans was the most vocal when NC took a 9-2 lead in the first minutes of the contest. The Eagles settled down though, and ended the quarter on a 6-2 spurt, including four of Brittain-Watts’ six points during the period to stay close at 11-8.
The score was tied in the beginning of the second, then the Academy seemed to start playing with more confidence and went on a 13-2 spree. Highlights included a Brittain-Watts floater, then a 3, an Amari Curtis layup assisted by B-W, then two baskets in close by Craig. Brittain-Watts was the team’s most consistent offensive threat and had 13 by halftime.
“Our kids never panicked after that first quarter,” said Galloway. “We held our hats on our defense and held them to 20 (first half) points. Ethan stepped up big for us offensively.”
After a relatively quiet first half, the Trojans remembered they had the heavily-recruited Gillis on the court and his nine third-quarter points helped close the gap to 37-35 to set up the scorefest known as the fourth quarter.
“All of our guys want to win and every possession matters to them,” concluded Galloway.
And now it’s off to Indy to decide who really is No. 1.
At Class 3A Semistate
Lafayette Jefferson High School
CULVER ACADEMY (65): Henry Zehner 0 0-0 0, Ethan Brittain-Watts 10 5-8 28, Johnny Cohen 0 1-4 1, Jordon Freeman 0 0-0 0, Deontae Craig 4 7-8 15, Amari Curtis 1 0-1 2, Trey Galloway 3 9-14 16, Nick Hittle 1 0-0 3. TOTALS: 19 22-35 65.
NEW CASTLE (60): Luke Bumbalough 8 6-6 29, Bryce Huntley 0 0-0 0, Blake Burris 0 0-0 0, Mason Hardick 1 0-0 3, Niah Williamson 1 0-0 3, Nicholas Geiser 1 0-0 2, Mason Gillis 9 4-5 23, Bryce Webb 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 20 10-11 60.
Score by quarters
Culv. Acad. 8 18 11 28 – 65
New Castle 11 9 15 25 – 60
Shooting: Culver Academy 19-46, New Castle 20-45. 3-pointers: Culver Academy 5 (Brittain-Watts 3, Galloway, Hittle), New Castle 10 (Bumbalough 7, Hardwick, Williamson, Gillis). Fouls (fouled out): Culver Academy 18 (none), New Castle 20 (Geiser). Rebounds: Culver Academy 36 (Galloway 10), New Castle 20 (Gillis 5). Turnovers: Culver Academy 6, New Castle 12.
Records: Culver Academy 22-6, New Castle 27-3 (final).