Playing Central for the second time in five days, Bosse’s boys’ basketball rematch against the Bears had a little bit of everything. It had drama. It had the emotion of a sectional final.
In the final analysis, the Bulldogs avenged an earlier loss by posting a 75-67 victory on Tuesday night in the first round of the Old National Bank Classic. After losing 82-78 in a regular-season game last Friday at Central, JaQuan Lyle scored 30 points, had 17 rebounds and four blocks to lift host Bosse, ranked No. 6 in Class 3A.
Lyle noted that Bosse went through a similar situation last season, beating Harrison in the championship game of the ONB Classic, then having to turn around and play the Warriors again within a few days.
“You have to play through it,” Lyle said. “You have to come out and play hard.”
Perry Fairrow contributed 12 points and Bo Burkhart 10.
“We have to understand that we’re going to get everybody’s best shot every time,” said Bosse coach Shane Burkhart. “We have to stop making excuses and play with a chip on our shoulder. We’re not going to get calls and he (Lyle) is not going to get calls.”
He loved that both teams played with so much emotion.
“They have to play that way,” Burkhart said. “Central played a tremendous game. I have to take my hat off to them and coach (Scott) Hudson.”
Darius Sherman passed to Trevor Ferguson for a layup to narrow Bosse’s advantage to 60-57 with 5:25 left. Saeed Walcott, who came off the bench to score nine points, converted a rebound to boost the Bulldogs’ lead to five.
Lyle noted that Fairrow sometimes shuts down when the game gets physical, while he and Bo Burkhart get frustrated. Lyle said the Bulldogs need to stare down adversity and tackle it head on.
“We stuck together and got a win,” Lyle said.
Bosse (9-3) will meet Castle (8-3) at 6 p.m. on Thursday in the semifinals at Castle.
“It’s going to be real tough, trying to beat Castle on its home floor,” Lyle said. “We have to come out hard.”
Harrison, 11-0 and ranked No. 3 in Class 4A, will meet Mater Dei (6-4) in the second semifinal.
Martin paced Central (6-5) with 15 points against Bosse and tied Beau Dedmond for team rebounding honors with 10.
“We rushed a couple shots a little bit,” Hudson said. “We needed to stay in rhythm. The kids battled and played one of their best games of the year. They played one of their best games of the year on Friday as well. We’re getting better. We gave a great effort.”
Before the game, Lyle was presented with a plaque for joining Bosse’s 1,000-point club. He broke the barrier against North Knox on Dec. 20 in the Toyota Gibson County Teamwork Classic, but was not honored until Tuesday. His current total is 1,158 points.
“He would trade all of those points for a chance to win state,” Burkhart said.
“I couldn’t do it without my teammates,” Lyle added.
“I’m thankful for my teammates supporting me.”