Central falls to unbeaten Adams in NIC opener

Isaiah Chandler

ELKHART — Elkhart Central boys basketball coach Scott Sekal was composed after Tuesday's 62-49 Northern Indiana Conference loss at the hands of South Bend Adams at North Side Gym.

Sekal was impressed with the Eagles, while understanding his own team – which fell to 0-4 – has plenty of room for improvement. 

"You've got to give Adams all the credit," said Sekal. "They're a very, very good team. (Head coach) Chad (Johnston) does a great job coaching them."

The Eagles shot 57-percent from the field (27-of-47), which helped them end Central rallies.

Adams did its damage inside the 3-point line, as the Eagles had only one trey.

"We were much better (offensively) than we were in our first and second game," said Johnston, whose team improved to 3-0. "We had better shot selection. I thought there were only one or two times that we rushed a shot."  

Defensively, Adams held Central to 43-percent shooting (19-of-44) and forced 15 turnovers. Six of those miscues came in the first quarter, as the Eagles opened the game in the first minute with two baskets set up by steals. 

A 30-19 rebounding edge by the Eagles also factored into the game's outcome, as a number of offensive rebounds turned into points for the visitors.

"They were outrebounding us and getting second-chance points," Sekal said. "That's something we constantly work on, but against a very quick, athletic and good team it's harder to rebound." 

Strong rebounding has been a trend this season for Adams.

"We have been rebounding well," Johnston said. "In the last couple of games we haven't been finishing after we get the rebound. I'm happy that our guys crash the offensive boards. We work on that every day in practice."

Offensive balance by Adams also made it a challenge defensively for Central.

Five different Eagles scored at least seven points. Quentez Columbus led the way with 14 points, while Lynn King and Jessie Morgan each added 12 and Chuck Worsham totaled 11.     

Morgan's three-point play gave Adams a 26-19 lead with 1:42 left in the second quarter. Before that basket, Central had almost erased an 18-6 deficit.

Morgan, who scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half, provided a spark off the bench for the Eagles. This year marks the first time the 6-4 junior has gotten significant varsity minutes.

"He uses his body well and he probably has the softest hands on our team," Johnston said about Morgan. "He's maturing as the year goes along."

Adams went into halftime with a 32-23 lead after getting a basket from Lynn King with as time expired in the second quarter.

Another field goal from King extended the Eagles lead to 46-31 with 1:24 left in the third quarter. 

But the Blue Blazers wouldn't go away quietly, as the hosts went on a 7-0 run to pull within 48-39 with 6:37 left in the game. Cam'ron Daniels' three-point play were the final points during that stretch. 

But Central wasn't able to get any closer, as Adams went on an 8-2 run to take a 56-41 lead with 3:53 remaining in the contest.

"Basketball is a game of spurts," Sekal said. "For us, we have to maintain and sustain spurts. I'm happy that we had some moments, but overall, the projection and the picture is not what I want. But tomorrow is another day and we're going to keep battling."  

Individually, Isaiah Chandler and Daniels were bright spots for Central. Chandler finished with 21 points, including three 3-pointers, while Daniels netted 13. Chandler also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.

"They're all growing," Sekal said. "We're growing as a group and as a team and making better decisions. We've had spurts where we've been competitive with everybody. I still believe we were in the game tonight until a spurt late in the third and the fourth. Part of that happened because of our mistakes."  

SB ADAMS 62, ELKHART CENTRAL 49

ADAMS: Brayden Saxton 2 0-0 4, Sydney Jefferies 3 1-1 7, Lynn King 6 0-1 12, Quentez Columbus 6 2-2 14, Chuck Worsham 5 0-0 11, TeVaughn Columbus 1 0-0 2, Jessie Morgan 4 4-5 12, Harry Jeffers 0 0-0 0, Matt Anela 0 0-0 0, Gion Parks 0 0-0 0. Totals: 27-47 (.574), 7-9 (.777), 62. 

CENTRAL: Luke Teich 3 1-2 8, Mark Brownlee 2 1-3 5, Cam'ron Daniels 5 3-3 13, Isaiah Chandler 8 2-2 21, Ty Windy 0 0-0 0, Akita Walker 1 0-0 2, Donovan Johnson 0 0-0 0, Armon Hurt 0 0-0 0, Issac Stewart 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-44 (.431), 7-10 (.700), 49. 

Scoring By Quarters

Adams`16`16`14`16`—`62

Central`6`17`9`17`—`49

3-point goals: Adams (1) - Worsham; Central (4) - Chandler 3, Teich. Rebounds: Adams (30) - Saxton 12; Central (19) - Chandler 7. Turnovers: Adams 15, Central 15. Steals: Adams (9) - Q. Columbus 3, Worsham 2; Central (5) - Chandler 2. Total fouls: Adams 14, Central 14. Fouled out - Teich. Records: Adams 3-0 (1-0 NIC), Central 0-4 (0-1 NIC).

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