By Will Willems
For one half of play Tuesday, Feb. 26, the Zionsville basketball team gave defending state champion and top-ranked Carmel everything they wanted in the sectional opener.
But after halftime, Carmel showed why they are the team to beat in the state of Indiana. Carmel out-scored the Eagles 21-6 in the third quarter and ended the Eagles’ season with a 57-38 win.
“They just did a great job offensively in the second half,” Zionsville head coach Shaun Busick said of Carmel. “They shot something like 10-of-12 from the field and 6-of-7 from the three-point line. They just took over the game. They are a very good basketball team and they were outstanding tonight. There is a reason they are the defending state champions and one of the favorites this year. I am proud of our guys for playing as well as they did most of the game.”
When the two teams met Feb. 2, Carmel controlled the entire game and cruised to a 51-28 win.
This game, the Eagles played much better in the first half, trailing just 10-7 after a quarter and playing an even second frame to be down only three at the half.
“We did a pretty good job of getting the ball in to the post in the first half,” Busick said. “And we defended much better than the first game, too.”
The third quarter proved to be the difference. Carmel scored the first six points of the quarter and 13 of the first 17 to go up 12 with 4:29 left in the quarter.
The Eagles were never able to get within single digits again.
See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for more on this story.