Blackhawk Christian isn’t looking to make statements. They did that long ago and little has changed since that point. So they don’t need to make statements anymore. But opening up the 2020-21 season with a 50 point win over North Side earlier in the week and then flowing that up on Friday night with a 86-33 demolition of New Haven is certainly a declaration of dominance.
It was 16-0 before New Haven scored any points and it felt like a much grander lead. At the half, Blackhawk Christian had 47 points and New Haven hadn’t even hit that 16 mark themselves yet, scoring just 14. If it hadn’t been for early three pointers from Jackson Turnwald and the assertiveness of Darrion Brooks, the Bulldogs possibly could have still be sitting close to zero.
“I thought for us, the quick start was important. We kind of jumped on them early and for us, in terms of building some momentum and getting some confidence, that was important,” Blackhawk Christian coach Marc Davidson said.
Meanwhile Blackhawk Christian had spread the ball around to about everyone. The traditional Caleb Furst dunks were strong, Zane Burke ran wild and Marcus Davidson was a real problem with his mid to deep range. But there were also ball fake led drives from Gage Sefton, triples from Jacob Boyer, Callan Wood being in on every possible play, loose ball dives by Lewis Jones and others; if Blackhawk Christian could do it in the first half, they did.
So what else is there to say after a game like Friday’s, where the score tells you pretty much all of the story you need? Keep doing those little things, even when the game is out of reach for your opponent.
“We put a huge premium on those things when you talk about the intangibles, the little things like diving on the floor and drawing charges,” Marc Davidson said. “I think we had a couple plays tonight when we had a multiple players on the floor; those are the things we love to see. I think when they see a Caleb Furst, early in the game, diving on the floor after a loose ball, it just kind of spreads throughout your group.”
So while Blackhawk Christian’s game speaks for itself, it has been a frightening reminder this week of just how good this team is. It also shows everyone how much better they have gotten since capturing a Sectional title in March before that season’s halt. When you can have an opposing team walking out of the locker room at halftime so demoralized that it bleeds from their faces, you have done your job.
And yet, the Braves didn’t relent. The second half was to be just what the first half was. Why take a day off? Why take a play off?
It is a championship formula and one that has Blackhawk clicking quickly this season. They didn’t just beat New Haven on Friday, they broke their spirits and announced a big gap between the Braves and, perhaps, every single team in this area. It is kind of what you have to do if you are Blackhawk Christian. With the large lingering schedule ahead, including a follow up game on Saturday against Hamilton (OH), this is a strong schedule for a strong team.
“We take them one at a time and we want to continue to get better every day and every game,” Marc Davidson said. “There are little things we have to continue to get better at.”
Even when New Haven showed a little better pressure to start the second half in the full court, including an opening second steal, the Braves defense held time and time again. They squared up their bodies, they absorbed contact and it constantly kept New Haven off guard; almost begging for fouls that were neither being committed nor called on their behalf. New Haven scored for the first time in the second half nearly two minutes in on a Dre Wright move to the basket, but then the Bulldogs missed their next couple of shots. It took until 5:35 left in the third for New Haven leading scorer Thomas Latham to score his first points of the game; and to his credit, once he scored he did so again quickly and smoothly, shaking off a bad first half a little bit.
When Blackhawk struggled – and they did offensively early in the third – they did so with composure. That is a word they certainly never lost as they worked to extend their lead in the second half. There were times where the Braves struggled in that session, mostly of their own doing. New Haven worked to capitalize, although the trading of baskets was more like treading water than stealing momentum. That included an exchange near the two minute mark when Furst hit a wide open three on one end and Jakar Williams responded with one of his own on the other end.
“We wanted to experiment with a zone a little bit in the third quarter and I think that effected maybe offensively with the pace we played,” Marc Davidson said. “The composure was there and I think that is largely due to Zane. I think Zane was really composed tonight. He doesn’t get rattled and I though his decision making all night was really good.”
New Haven did score 13 third quarter points to almost best the 14 that they scored in the opening half. Blackhawk Christian led 72-27 at the end of the third when the starters took a seat.
Furst led the balanced scoring effort with 21 points, followed by 20 from Burke, 12 each from Boyer and Davidson and 10 from Sefton. New Haven didn’t have anyone reach double figures, getting six points each from Latham, Turnwald and Brooks.