INDIANAPOLIS — Leo needed more time but had no way of stopping the clock from hitting triple zeros.
Blake Davison found D.J. Allen underneath for a lay-up with five seconds left to cut the lead to 50-49 with five seconds left, but since the clock doesn’t stop after a made basket, Silver Creek left the seconds count down until the Class 3A State Championship was theirs.
Davison, an Indiana Tech commit, was the only Lion to reach double figures. He scored all 20 of his points in the second half, and had four assists and three rebounds. Allen had nine points and seven rebounds, Ayden Ruble scored eight points, four assists and three rebounds and Zack Troyer had a team-high 15 rebounds to go along with his six points.
The two standouts for the Dragons (25-4), Kooper Jacobi and Trey Kaufman-Renn, led the way. Jacobi, a Toledo commit, finished with a double-double of 18 points and 18 rebounds. Kaufman-Renn, a future Purdue Boilermaker, also had a double-double, but his was made up of 13 points and 10 boards.
“Obviously, it was a very good game. Silver Creek is a very good team, well-coached team. It was a game of runs, and they got off to a good start. They had a run, then we had a run, then they had a run at the end of the first half that was key to take the lead at halftime,” Leo coach Cary Cogdell said.
The Lions (24-5) led 21-16 with 1:28 left in the first half after a three-pointer from Xavier Middleton.
Leo had a chance to hold for the last shot, but two turnovers and an offensive rebound allowed the Dragons to score six points in the final 33 seconds and take a 22-21 lead going into halftime.
Silver Creek increased its lead to six after a couple of jumpers by Kaufman-Renn and Jacobi. But a couple of free throws by Ruble and Davison got the Leo offense going.
“I think it’s the jitters of being in the state finals. In the first half, I don’t think many people on the floor shot very well. You could tell in the second half everyone was getting more comfortable. It was just a great ballgame,” Davison said.
Davison made it a three-point game (31-28) after a layup after an offensive rebound by Ruble midway through the third quarter. Davison scored 19 straight points for the Lions to kept his team in. He made a three with 6:59 left in the game that pulled Leo within five.
“I’m super proud of him. I don’t doubt him. I knew he was going to get going, he just need one to drop,” Cogdell said.
The game looked like it was about to get out of hand after five straight points by the Dragons pushed the lead back to double digits with five minutes left.
But a personal 6-0 run by Davison, including a couple of trips to the free-throw line, cut the deficit down to four.
“Just doing everything I can to win. It’s not a one-person effort. Everyone was rebounding, hustling, I just happened to be the one that was putting it in,” Davison said. “Just fell short in the end.”
A jumper by Kaufman-Renn ended the Davison run with 2:46 remaining.
Allen hit a corner three, then Davison made a turnaround jumper with 41 seconds left to make it a one-point game.
Leo had a chance to take the lead with less than 20 seconds, but Davison lost the basketball while driving into the paint, and Silver Creek’s Brandon Northern grabbed the loose ball and was fouled on the other end.
He made the first free throw but missed the second, however the rebound was tipped out to the Dragons’ Trey Schoen — and he was fouled.
Schoen made his first attempt, then Cogdell called his last timeout with 11 seconds left. Schoen missed his second, giving the Lions a shot to tie the game with a three.
The ball was passed up to Davison, and he had a look at a three but saw Allen open underneath. Allen made the layup, but the Dragons didn’t attempt to inbound the ball as the final seconds ticked away.