Oracles take 2nd in Indiana Kitchen Classic
by John J. Dunn, Contributing Sportswriter
For the first three games of the season, Delphi has thrived on the 3-point shot, connecting on an impressive 53.6 percent of its attempts entering the championship game of the Indiana Kitchen Classic.
But the accuracy from beyond the arc was not as prolific in the tournament finale Saturday night as the Oracles made only 6-of-26 (23.1 percent) from 3-point range in their 65-50 loss to defending champion Tri-County.
Despite its shooting woes, Delphi managed to stay within striking distance.
The Oracles had a 9-0 run midway through the 4th quarter to cut the Cavs lead to eight with 3:30 to play, with the ball and a chance to make it a 5-point game, but a 3-pointer rimmed out, and the Cavaliers hit 6-of-8 foul shots down the stretch to secure the win.
Delphi previously defeated Frontier 61-33 last Tuesday and Rossville 74-72 in a hard-fought overtime game on Friday to advance to the championship.
“Overall, we did a lot of good things in the tournament, Oracle head coach Adam Ballard said. “We found out that we cannot rely only on making 3 point shots.”
“We have got to be a team that can score in multiple ways,” he added. “We need to do a better job of getting to the rim off of the dribble and getting the ball into the post offensively.”
Despite seven 1st period turnovers, Delphi trailed only 17-15 at the break and just 25-23 midway through the 2nd quarter before the Cavs went on a 13-5 run to close the half with a 38-28 lead.
Tri-County (4-0) extended the margin to 48-35 at the end of the 3rd period, and then took a game-high 17 point lead at 55-38 with 5:46 left in the game when the Oracles started its final rally.
“I thought that we had our best game of the year in terms of rebounding against Tri-County,” Ballard said. “If we can put that together with a more balanced offensive approach, as well as, improve some things defensively, we will be in a very good spot.”
Mason Lane led Delphi with 14 points, followed by Brent Hawn with 12, Blaine Walters with eight, Adam Shanks six, Tyler Ross five, Adam Zink four, and Weston Windell with one.
Delphi (3-1) next starts the first of three consecutive away games at Benton Central in its Hoosier Conference opener Friday with the JV tip-off at 6:30 pm, then at North Newton Saturday with a 6 pm JV tip-off.
The Oracles raced out to a 24-15 lead at the end of the 1st period and survived a rugged battle with the Hornets to escape with the overtime victory in the semi-final round.
Delphi hit 7-of-9 treys and 62.5 percent overall in the 1st half to take a 37-33 lead at halftime, then extended the margin to 49-43 at the end of the 3rd period and held onto a 62-58 lead with 50 seconds left in regulation before Rossville’s Clayton Howard made consecutive baskets in the post to force overtime.
After the Oracles had missed all six of their 3-pt. attempts after halftime, Lane hit a huge triple with 1:58 left in OT to give Delphi a 68-67 lead, and then Walters nailed a dagger trey with 21.5 seconds left to give the Oracles a 72-70 lead it would not relinquish.
Hawn led Delphi with 22 points and six assists, Ross added a career-high 21 points on 10-of-11 field goals and a team-high eight rebounds, Lane had 10 points, Walters eight, Shanks five and Zink and Windell four each.
The Oracles shot an impressive 44.4 percent from beyond the arc against the Falcons, with Lane connecting on 4-of-7 treys en route to a game-high 14 points, while Hawn added a pair of triples and finished with 12 points.
Delphi used a pair of treys from Lane and one from Walters in the final 1:27 of the 1st period to take a 19-8 lead at the break, and then Lane and Hawn added treys in the 2nd period as the Oracles took a commanding 33-12 lead into the half, before extending the margin to 46-20 at the end of the 3rd period to cruise to the easy victory.
Walters and Zink added nine points apiece, followed by Ross with six, Windell five, and Shanks, Cole Kesling and Daniel Jakes with two apiece.
JV Indiana Kitchen Classic
The Delphi JV also finished runner-up in the JV Indiana Kitchen Classic at Clinton Central Saturday morning.
The Oracles JV defeated Carroll 42-35 in double-overtime in the first game, before losing to Rossville 56-28 in the championship.
Daniel Jakes had 21 points against the Cougars, followed by Kain Myer with 9, Vladimir Danicic with 6, Cade Murray 5, and John Beale 1.
Against the Hornets, Myer led with 9 points, Jakes added 8, Murray 7, and Beale and Trent Green 2 each.