Boys basketball: Nick Davidson leads Andrean to overtime win over Merrillville
By Michael Osipoff 648-3137 or firstname.lastname@example.org December 8, 2012 11:28PM
Andrean's Collin Wojcik reacts after teamate Nick Davidson tipped in Davidsons missed free throw which ended up being the game winning score against Marrillville during their game held at Merrillville High School on Saturday December 8, 2012. | Charles Mitchell~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 10, 2013 6:45AM
MERRILLVILLE — Nick Davidson had just two points and no field goals in the first half against Merrillville on Saturday night.
But the Andrean senior finished with 28 points, including the go-ahead putback with 8.1 seconds left in overtime off an offensive rebound, to lift the 59ers to a 75-74 win against the Pirates.
Merrillville (4-1) led 74-73, before each team committed a turnover, with Andrean’s Collin Wojcik winding up on the foul line with 10.1 seconds left. He missed both free throws, but Davidson swooped in to corral the rebound, and scored what proved to be the game-winning points for the 59ers (4-0).
“We had all the confidence in the world that Woj would knock down the free throws,” Davidson said. “But we always talk about being aggressive and being physical at the point of attack. I just guessed right on the rebound, got it, and was able to put it in.
“It (the first half) was not my best half of basketball. I’m my own worst critic. But the guys kept telling me, keep attacking, keep attacking. They trusted me, and got me the ball in the right places, and was able to knock some shots down.”
Andrean coach Carson Cunningham said of the Valparaiso University recruit: “He’s just super-gutsy. My new nickname for him is ‘Mr. Production.’ He just produces in so many ways across the stat line.”
B.J. Jenkins, who had 24 points for the Pirates, could not hit a desperation 3-pointer as time expired, after they called timeout with 1.7 seconds left. Jenkins had hit a 3-pointer with 26 seconds left in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime tied at 68-68.
“We knew they were a good team, and we think we’re a pretty good team too, but you have to prove it on the floor at the end of the game,” Merrillville coach T.J. Lux said. “It came down to basic, fundamental things at the end of the game. We talk about it every day, but you have to execute. But good teams are going to keep the pressure on you and take advantage of little mistakes.”
Said Cunningham: “Merrillville is really, really good. Any team that plays them in the tournament is going to have a tough challenge. Coach Lux is doing a super job, and Jenkins in particular was phenomenal.”
Merrillville led 22-15 after the first quarter, behind 10 points from Jenkins — “He showed how good he is,” Lux said. “He’s a big-time player.” — and eight from Jelani Pruitt (18 points for the game).
Andrean committed 11 turnovers. The 59ers closed to 37-35 at halftime, as Daniel Keilman — on his birthday — scored 11 points in the second quarter (14 for the game), including three 3-pointers. A basket by Jamard Owens with 31 seconds left gave the Pirates the lead heading into the break.
Davidson scored 10 points in the third, when the Pirates led 51-49, then added 12 in the fourth, and four in overtime.
“It’s huge,” Davidson said. “Between Merrillville, Bowman and Munster, this is one of the biggest games on our schedule. We have good friends on their team. We know them as well as anybody, and they do too with us. We knew it was going to be a battle, and it didn’t disappoint.”