Sometimes a chilly, snowy random Tuesday night in February can be very educating.
As Bounce settled in to take in Blackhawk Christian at Snider, this frog expected another Braves rout. After all, just one area team has been able to stay within 15 points of Coach Marc Davidson’s team after four quarters – Bishop Dwenger in an eight-point win late last month.
So consider how shocked Bounce was when Snider took a 16-point lead into halftime and led by as many as 18 points on the night. That surprise stuck around as Blackhawk Christian dominated the second half, eventually earning an 88-81 victory.
The first half was near-perfection for the Panthers, who shot close to 85 percent from the field through the first two quarters. A 2-3 zone flummoxed Blackhawk Christian, who couldn’t find range from deep, and the combination of Karson Jenkins, Grant Brown and Jade Moore were raining shots from all over, with Brown hitting four threes in the first half and Moore dropping 16 through two quarters.
“We shot the ball incredibly well in the first half and we were able to set our defense (in the half-court),” said Snider coach Jeremy Rauch. “(Blackhawk Christian) pressured us in the second half and we collapsed.”
But as quick as the success appeared, it vanished. Blackhawk Christian opened the second half by pressuring the ball and forcing the Panthers into mistakes. Snider dried up from the perimeter, while the Braves’ Marcus Davidson and Zane Burke heated up. Blackhawk halved the deficit within three minutes and led by double digits by the end of the third.
While the final margin hinted at a close game down the stretch, Blackhawk Christian led comfortably up until the last few seconds. Caleb Furst led all scorers with 28 points while Burke added 26.
The result was another disappointment for Snider, which has shown the ability to run with, and sometimes dominate, some of the better teams in the area. On Tuesday, it led the Braves by 18, last week, the Panthers were ahead of Carroll by as many as 14 points before falling on a last-second bucket.
A full 32 minutes of solid ball continues to elude Snider.
But Blackhawk Christian has cause for concern as well. While the Braves fought back admirably on Tuesday night, the first half was dreadful. While Class 2A has the majority of its top teams in the south, Blackhawk Christian will run into some challenges in the postseason. A performance over the first 16 minutes like Bounce witnessed on Tuesday could spell disaster in the playoffs against the right (or wrong) opponent.
So while many just saw a topsy-turvy basketball game, Bounce saw two teams that have a lot to figure out between now and the end of the month. Both squads must find consistency to achieve their goals.
Neither of them showed that consistency on Tuesday.
Furst ended the game with 28 points for the Braves while Burke became just the second player in Blackhawk Christian history to post a triple double with 26 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
These opinions represent those of Bounce and Outside the Huddle. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers. Follow Bounce on Twitter at Bounce_OTH