The volume of boys' basketball over the weekend was shortened somewhat by several Saturday postponements, but it was still a memorable couple days of action.
Henryville picked up a pair of wins, giving the Hornets victories in five of their past six. Friday's outcome was decided on a game-winning 3-pointer by Kade Badger to beat Providence. Badger and company have seven games remaining and have a solid chance to continue to build steam going into postseason play.
Badger has put together an impressive season; his 18 points vs. Providence was actually his first game with less than 20 since Dec. 14. And he came right back with 20 in the first half Saturday against Borden and finished with 22.
A sophomore who had been fighting a mini-slump who came through in a big game in a hostile environment also stood out.
Silver Creek's 6-foot-6 Kooper Jacobi was not as effective in the second half as he was in the first half Friday, but he was a big reason the Dragons built a 19-point lead in The Doghouse before holding on for the 51-44 victory, the first ever at New Albany for the program.
Jacobi deserves praise for a fearless approach despite going 4 for 18 from the field in his past two games. Jacobi finished with 16 points in the victory against New Albany.
"The last three or four games, he's struggled to knock down shots," coach Brandon Hoffman said. "He's the last guy to leave practice every day [and is] coming in every morning to get up shots. I knew it was a matter of time before he got it turned around. He made some big energy plays."
BASKETBALL INDIANA DAY
The IHSAA implemented Basketball Indiana Day for the first time in 2016 at the request of Fox Sports Midwest.
Assistant commissioner Chris Kaufman said last week it's an event that the organization has made an effort to grow. While Saturday was the third installment, it was at least somewhat impaired by the weekend weather.
"They put a lot of resources in it," Kaufman said of Fox Sports. "We want to celebrate the rich heritage of Indiana basketball."
Fox Sports televised three boys' games and two girls' games. The "Buggy Bowl" at North Daviess between Class 2A No. 6 North Daviess and Class A No. 4 Barr-Reeve was the second of two games at North Daviess, the first being Southridge vs. North Posey. Class 4A No. 1 Warren Central and 4A No. 10 Zionsville also aired from Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday.
Every host school around the state was invited to get involved and post to social media with the hashtag #BasketballIndianaDay. At Borden on Saturday, they combined it with a chance to honor veterans during a pre-game ceremony with a court-sized flag.
Kaufman said the IHSAA hopes to see the event, which also included the Indiana-Purdue game and was capped off with a Pacers home game, evolve.
"They want it to continue to build and grow and put more assets into doing so," Kaufman said. "We did two sites last year and two this year. We may expand the number of sites and televise more games. That's a good possibility. Maybe add court decals throughout the state. We want to make it even better."
BOYS' PLAYER OF THE WEEK
KOOPER JACOBI, SILVER CREEK — Jacobi's early audaciousness, especially at the offensive end, was paramount to the victory Friday night at New Albany. He ended up second on the team in scoring to senior Zane Gross, who knocked down fourth-quarter free throws to reach 17 points, but Jacobi was huge in the outcome.
OTHER TOP PERFORMANCES
• Kade Badger, Henryville — Badger's weekend was detailed above. With a scoring average near 25 points, he's had a memorable senior year.
• Cobie Barnes, Floyd Central — Barnes continued an All-Star caliber season with 25 points at Jennings County.
• Jake Heidbreder, Floyd Central — Heidbreder had 15 points for the Highlanders in a Hoosier Hills Conference road win at Jennings County. More steady production from Barnes' supporting cast will become more important against some of the quality teams remaining on the Floyd schedule.
• Derrick Stevenson, New Albany — Stevenson took over when New Albany needed him, giving his team a shot to beat Silver Creek with 17 second-half points.
• Devron West, Charlestown — West had 15 points and eight rebounds in the Pirates' rout of Eastern.