INDIANAPOLIS – This is iteration of the Blackhawk Christian Braves is nearly impossible to beat.
If there was any doubt in that, Saturday afternoon’s win over Parke Heritage should prove it fully. The Braves rallied from every Parke Heritage push to win their second straight state title in a 55-40 win. It cemented any and every legacy that the Braves needed it to.
Everything else was just gravy.
The 105 wins from their senior class, two state titles in two different classes and perhaps the argument that there would have been a third. The legacy of this group, especially the seniors, will live long at Blackhawk Christian.
“What these guys have accomplished in between the lines on a basketball court has been remarkable,” coach Marc Davidson said. “These guys are exemplary young men. These guys are having a massive impact on our school and beyond.”
Zane Burke and Jacob Boyer took control early for the Braves and really set an early tone. A Burke three to open scoring gave Blackhawk Christian a lead that they never relented.
That is what the Braves are built on and should be their legacy moving forward: they don’t relent. The first half didn’t go as cleanly as the Braves would have wanted. Outside of Burke and the important aggression from Boyer, Blackhawk Christian didn’t get a ton going on the offensive end. The pair combined for 22 of the Braves’ 27 points and the rest of the team was just 2-of-10 in the opening 16 minutes.
That allowed Parke Heritage to toy around with the idea of hanging close. Things could have been much different going into the second half had Marcus Davidson not drained a three pointer in the closing seconds of the half. Without that triple, the Braves would have been clinging to just a 24-19 lead. Most of that came from Wolves’ senior Connor Davis, who was a consistent target inside with Caleb Furst on the bench. Davis finished with a team high 18 points but went 6-of-6 at the free throw line, all in the second quarter.
Early in the second quarter, Furst picked up his second foul of the game and was relegated to the bench to preserve him for the closing stretch of the game. The Purdue commit certainly had a lot to think about as he sat there. He doesn’t get into foul trouble much so the chance to sit down perhaps cleared his head in ways that we don’t normally see.
At the half, Furst had as many fouls as points and sat at just one rebound.
“For him having to sit here and watch, I am guessing that added a couple logs to the fire for him. We’ve told him from day one when he plays with a high level of assertiveness and aggression, we are a different team,” Marc Davidson said.
If the second half was the Braves proving to be one of the state’s best, then Furst’s play was a microcosm of that overall theme; he too never relented.
After starting the game just 1-of-4 from the field in his 11 first half minutes, Furst went on a tear. Midway through the third quarter, a wild scramble lasting a good 5-8 seconds for a single rebound wound up in Furst’s hands and he slammed it home for his loudest basket of the game. He would go 8-of-12 shooting in the second half and finish with a game high 20 points to go with seven rebounds and six blocked shots.
For those who wondered what kind of statement the Mr. Basketball candidate would make in his final high school game, I think you have your answer.
“He’s been making that case for four years. There is nobody in this state I am taking head of Caleb Furst,” Davidson said “Today was just the exclamation point. The kid is a winner on and off the court. He was just not going to be denied.”
Nobody on this team has anything else to prove. The senior class can all ride off into the sunset knowing that they set a very high standard. With nothing more to chase, they can sit back and admire their work in the days, weeks and years that lay ahead. It is someone else’s turn to chase them. Can someone catch them? Sure. Will it be as fun? That will hard to match.
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Another great article!!