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Photo by Debbie Beigh/For the Times Sentinel
Zionsville Times Sentinel

INDIANAPOLIS — In what could best be described as “A Tale of Two Halves,” the Zionsville boys basketball team was defeated by Brebeuf Jesuit 48-47 Wednesday, Nov. 22.

The Eagles dominated the first three quarters of the season-opener for both teams, but the Braves, ranked No. 10 in Class 3A, would not give up.

In the first quarter, both teams spent the first few minutes trying to get a feel for the game. Zionsville would strike first and eventually jump out to a 9-0 lead. The Eagles held Brebeuf scoreless until the 1:30 mark of the first quarter.

At that point, the Braves went on a run of their own and reeled off seven straight points to end the quarter, giving the Eagles a 9-7 lead at the end of the period.

Brebeuf scored the first basket of the second quarter to tie the game 9-9. The Eagles would answer back with a 7-0 run that would put them up 18-11. Zionsville would push the lead to 24-14, and seemed well on its way to a commanding half-time lead.

Lead by 6-foot-3 senior Ryan McDaniel, Brebeuf would make another charge toward the end of the period. McDaniel recorded a steal and a slam dunk as the end of the quarter neared. After another Zionsville turnover, McDaniel hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to cut the Eagles advantage to 5, 24-19.

In the third quarter Zionsville dominated, as the Eagles made an effort to get the ball inside. The strong post play came from 6-foot-6, 205-pound senior center Matt Miller.

Miller had his way in the paint, going 7-7 from the field and 1-1 from the free-throw line in the third quarter for 15 points. Miller ended the night with 21 points, shooting 10-12 from the floor and pulled down a team-best eight rebounds.

“I can’t say enough about the play of Matt Miller. Matt was the best post player on the floor tonight, and that is directly attributed to his summer workout program,” Zionsville head coach Shaun Busick said.

Zionsville began the fourth quarter up 41-30, but the quarter was not kind to the Eagles. They would commit seven turnovers in the fourth, while Brebeuf played error-free basketball. The Braves battled back to tie the game 42-42 with 4:26 remaining in the game, but both teams would then go scoreless for the next two minutes.

With 1:30 left in the game, following a free throw, Brebeuf took their first lead of the night, 45-44. After a timeout, Zionsville looked for an answer.

The Eagles found it in junior guard Sean Haseley. He drilled a three from the corner with 55 seconds remaining, putting the Eagles up 47-45.

The Braves got fouled on the next possession but only converted on one free throw, bringing the score to 47-46.

With less than 45 seconds left, Miller missed a free throw. Zionsville knocked the ball out of bounds on the rebound, giving the ball to Brebeuf. At the 17-second mark, Brebeuf senior Ryan Russell hit a soft 8-foot jump shot to give the lead to the Braves.

The Eagles brought the ball past half-court, looking to set up a play. Brebeuf forced a jump ball with 3.4 seconds left, but the Eagles retained possession. After a time-out the Eagles had chance for a quick shot, but senior Greg McCormick’s fade away jump shot came up short.

“I will tell you that we outplayed Brebeuf tonight, but when you shoot 33 percent from the free-throw line and they shoot 75 percent, that will more than likely lose the game,” Busick said.

Zionsville travels to Westfield Friday, Dec. 1, for its first Hoosier Crossroads Conference game of the season. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. The Eagles return home for a 7:30 p.m. game Saturday, Dec. 2, with Western Boone.

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