O-D outmatched vs No. 8 Michigan City Marquette

CULVER — Oregon-Davis’ boys basketball team ran into a buzzsaw called Michigan City Marquette Wednesday.
The Class A No. 8 Blazers hit at a 62-percent clip from the field, landing four players in double figures and distributing 27 assists in an 89-41 win over the Bobcats in Class A Sectional 51 action at Culver Community’s John R. Nelson Gymnasium.
Marquette advances to a Friday semifinal against Westville, a 69-41 winner over South Central in the other first-round contest Wednesday. The host Cavs and No. 10 Triton tip off in the first semifinal Friday at 6:30 p.m.
The Cats took a brief 5-4 lead on sophomore Blake Hurford’s drive with 6:45 left in the opening frame. Marquette, though, used stretches of 10-0 and 10-2 to open up a 43-22 halftime advantage, while OD wound up 25 percent from the field for the evening.
“I thought early on we’re right there if we can hit shots,” OD head coach Matt Crawford said. “Our game plan was to limit our turnovers, stop their fast break, and contain the middle. I thought we did those things, we just needed to hit shots. I’m supremely happy with the effort.”
Junior Nathan Flores and sophomore JoVonte Peals scored 19 points apiece for the Blazers. Flores, who drilled back-to-back triples in the first quarter against OD’s 2-3 zone, added five assists and three steals, while Peals ripped down a game-best 13 rebounds.
Marquette 6-foot-8 sophomore shooting guard Ryan Fazekas added 13 of his 17 points in the second half, and 6-8 senior Jasmin Biberovikj chipped in 15 points and six assists off the bench. Sophomore Braxton Miller handed out a game-high seven assists for the Blazers.
Meanwhile, the Cats aggressively attacked the bigger Blazers off the dribble and with screens and rolls, piling up 24 trips to the charity stripe.
“I thought we showed no fear,” Crawford said. “We talked about not backing down, and we didn’t.”
Hurford finished with a team-high 11 points, followed by nine points, 11 rebounds, and three steals from senior Dalton Taylor.
“Dalton Taylor is our only senior,” Crawford said. “I can’t say enough about his dedication to our school, our program, and our community. He’s an outstanding leader with great character. I wish I had him back for another year. Over our past seven or eight games Dalton has had double-digit rebounds four or five times. I can’t say enough about how he’s embraced the program. He’ll be hard to replace. I take that back; we can’t replace him. He’s left a big shoe to fill.”
Also for OD, sophomore Carl Schnekenburger chipped in eight points.
The Cats, who featured a starting lineup with four sophomores, finish up 4-16.
“I saw tremendous growth from where we were in November to where we are now,” Crawford said. “I saw our biggest growth in seeing and reading the game. You can work on skills, but the only way to read and see is by playing the game. We’re seeing and understanding the game. There are so many intricacies; it’s what makes it such an awesome game. I’ve got a lot of sophomores who gained an enormous amount of experience this year. I can’t wait to see what we do in the future.”
At Culver
Score by quarters
MCM: 22 43 63 89
OD: 11 22 34 41
MCM (89): Braxton Miller 6, Jaylen Jemison 2, Ritchie Mitchell 0, Nathan Flores 19, JoVonte Peals 19, Jerome Watts 2, Malcolm Reed 9, Ryan Fazekas 17, Jasmin Biberovikj 15; Totals: 33 19-22 89.
OD (41): Zak Johnston 5, Dalton Taylor 9, Matt Minix 0, Cameron Clark 0, Carl Schnekenburger 8, Henry Clark 4, Samuel Seese 0, Blake Hurford 11, Joel Worthington 4; Totals: 13 14-24 41.
3-pointers: MCM 4 (Flores 2, Peals, Fazekas), OD 1 (Johnston); Turnovers: MCM 19, OD 24; Rebounds: MCM 38 (Peals 13), OD 28 (Taylor 11); Assists: MCM 27 (Miller 7), OD 1; Steals: MCM 10 (Flores 3), OD 6 (Taylor 3); Fouls (fouled out): MCM 20 (none), OD 15 (none).
Records: MCM 17-5, OD 4-16 (final).