Ever since settling on his college choice, Demetrius Lawson has been a force on the basketball court.
Shortly before Christmas, the Zionsville senior wing settled on Mt. Vernon Nazarene College in Ohio. He followed up his choice by scoring 50 points in two games during the Zionsville Holiday Tournament.
On Friday, Jan. 7, with Hoosier Crossroads Conference foe Lafayette Jeff in town, he had another big night. Lawson led the Eagles to a 68-54 victory with 25 points. His two three-pointers to start the second half broke open a close game at the break and put the Eagles in firm control the rest of the way.
“When Demetrius lets the offense come to him he is a very good basketball player,” Zionsville coach Shaun Busick said. “The second half he was great. I told him he had to quit forcing shots and let the offense work for him. What’s good about it is that he knows when to get his teammates involved and that makes us a better basketball team.”
Lawson scored 12 points in the first half and Zionsville led 29-27 at the break. The second quarter featured four ties and four lead changes, making a close finish appear inevitable.
Lawson ended those thoughts with three-pointers at the 7:25 and 6:56 mark of the third quarter to push the lead to eight. To make matters worse for the visitors, the Bronchos were called for traveling before a made 3-pointer and a made layup after each triple, wiping five points off the board.
“We talked about coming out and playing the first three minutes of the second half as the most important because you have to jump in and jump on them,” Busick said. “I thought our movement of the ball was pretty good. We don’t have a lot of one-on-one moves so we have to move the ball to be a good basketball team and I thought that was really sharp in the second half.”
After Lawson’s triples Colin Bultinck finally had an answer with a basket, but Jackson Tharp, Luke Kennedy and Lawson each got free for two-point baskets to make it a 12-2 Zionsville run in the first four minutes of the third quarter. Lafayette Jeff never got closer than 10 the rest of the way and the Eagles led by as much as 18.
Zionsville also had a successful night covering the explosive Nick Stacy. Stacy scored 40 in a game against Kokomo before the Christmas break, but the Eagles limited him to four points on two-of-10 shooting from the field.
“I was very proud of the defensive effort there,” Busick said. “We were there when he had 40 against Kokomo and we had two guys rotate on him tonight: Parker Dunshee and Luke Kennedy. They’re our top two defenders and we put them on their best players. Luke spent a little more time on them but the combination was really frustrating for him.”
Zionsville was far from a one-man show on the offensive end. Jackson Tharp finished with 19 points on seven-of-10 shooting from the field. He connected on three three-pointers and 14 of his points came after the halftime break.
The Eagles followed their conference triumph over the Bronchos with a 62-53 victory over visiting Guerin Catholic Saturday, Jan 8. Lawson led the Eagles with 18 points, while Will Dixon (12) and Tharp (10) also finished in double figures.
Zionsville is now 8-3 overall and 3-1 in conference play.