Oracles edge Hornets in rematch
by John J. Dunn, Contributing Sportswriter
In a very similar contest to the Indiana Kitchen Classic semi-final game played just over a month ago, Delphi again narrowly held off Rossville 63-61 Saturday night at DCHS.
In a rematch of the Oracles’ 74-72 overtime victory on Dec. 5th, which was tied at 62 at the end of regulation, Delphi used hot shooting from the start in both games to jump out to early leads, extended the margin during the 2nd half and then survived fierce Hornet comebacks to escape with two hard-earned victories.
The Oracles hit 8-of-9 shots in the 1st period to take a 20-16 lead at the break and shot 61.9 percent overall in the 1st half to take a 31-24 lead at halftime in the rematch, after similarly hitting 7-of-9 3-pointers and shooting 62.5 percent overall in the 1st half to take a 37-33 halftime lead in the earlier contest.
Brent Hawn scored 10 straight points in the 3rd period to help Delphi increase the margin to 50-38 at the end of the quarter, before the Oracles took their largest lead of the game at 16 on two occasions in the 4th period, including the final time at 57-41 after a Blaine Walters layup with 6:25 left.
But just like in the first game, Rossville rallied with an 11-0 run to cut the lead to five with 3:30 remaining, before Delphi got two more buckets from Walters around a Hornet layup to lead 61-54 with 1:51 to go.
Rossville then forced a couple Oracle miscues and scored seven unanswered points in the next 56 seconds to tie the game for the first time since tipoff at 61 with 55.7 seconds left.
With Delphi holding the ball for the final possession, the Hornets fouled Mason Lane with 18.6 seconds left, and he hit both ends of the 1-&-1 free throw bonus before Rossville attempted a game-winner with a trey from the left corner that rimmed out at the buzzer.
“We played very well in the first three quarters,” Oracle head coach Adam Ballard said. “We started getting complacent in the 4th period, and we allowed Rossville to get back into the game.”
“We have to start focusing on closing games out, our 4th quarter production has been an issue for us all year,” he added. “We must do a better job moving forward if we want to have success the rest of this year.”
Delphi had three in double-figures, led by Hawn with 18 points and a game-high eight assists, Lane added 15 points, Tyler Ross had 12 points and a game-high six rebounds, Walters finished with eight points, Adam Zink and Weston Windell added four apiece and Adam Shanks had two.
The Oracles (7-3) remained hot from the field, shooting 64.1 percent overall, including 5-of-11 (45.5 percent) from beyond the arc.
Delphi’s scheduled games against Tipton on Jan. 6 and Central Catholic on Jan. 9 were postponed due to weather. The CC game was rescheduled for Tuesday night (too late for print), but no make-up date had been announced for the Blue Devil game as of press time.
The Oracles travel to Tri-County on Friday in a rematch of the Indiana Kitchen Classic championship won by the Cavaliers 65-50 on Dec. 6 for a 6:30 JV tipoff, before hosting West Central Tuesday with a 6 pm JV start.
JV loses to Hornets
The Delphi JV (4-5) lost to Rossville 59-45.
Cade Murray led with 17 points, followed by Kain Myer with 11, Weston Windell, Jensyn Reef and Ben Lucas with four each, William Schwindler with three, and John Beale with two.