Boys basketball: Gavit, Griffith reach sectional semifinals
By Dennis Churilla Post-Tribune correspondent February 26, 2013 10:54PM
Updated: March 28, 2013 6:50AM
HAMMOND — Gavit has been knocked out of the sectionals by Clark in four of the last six seasons. And for a while Tuesday it looked like it would happen again. But the Gladiators rebounded from an early deficit to oust the Pioneers 50-42.
“It was a terrible start,” said Gavit coach Brandon Ridenour. “The first sectional game, there’s no music, people still coming in, and it’s a big building and I was worried we would come out flat.”
Flat enough that it looked like Clark would run away with it after grabbing a 19-8 lead early in the second quarter. The Pioneers’ Bernateau Jean-Michel had scored eight of his game-high 14 points and appeared to have things well in hand from his point guard spot.
But Gavit’s Aryk Rivoli-Johnson scored the next four baskets to reverse the tide. The Gladiators’ took their first lead at 26-25 when Eric Sims, seeing his first action of the game, hit a three-pointer midway through the third quarter.
“(Rivoli-Johnson) had some energy — that’s what we were missing,” Ridenour said. “He got some easy baskets and that gives all the other kids some confidence.”
A three-pointer and a lay-in from Jean-Michel put Clark up 33-32 at the end of the third quarter. Sims, though, hit another three-pointer to give Gavit (12-10) the lead for good. Clark (8-13) had some opportunities down the stretch, but the Pioneers could only connect on 4-of-15 free throws, sealing their fate.
“Yes, we missed eleven of them,” said Clark coach Joe Delgado of the free throws. “And we only shot 28 percent from the field. When you don’t make shots, you really shoot yourself in the foot.”
In the second game, Griffith opened the second half with a 17-2 run to blow open a tight ballgame with Roosevelt. Griffith’s Ben Parish scored nine of his game-high 24 points during the run to lead the Panthers to the 67-44 victory.
Roosevelt’s Jaron Lipscomb kept it close in the first half, scoring 10 of his 17 points in the half. But Roosevelt couldn’t buy a bucket in the third quarter scoring just four points.