INDIANAPOLIS — In a heavyweight matchup of two of the state's top teams, Floyd Central overcame a 7-point fourth quarter deficit to defeat host Lawrence North 58-56.
The third-ranked Highlanders (2-0) scored the last eight points of the game, holding the Wildcats (0-1) scoreless over the final 4 minutes and 21 seconds to notch their 17th straight regular-season victory.
“I hate to use the cliché that everybody who came in contributed, but they literally did,” Floyd head coach Todd Sturgeon said. “Cam [Sturgeon] kept a free throw rebound alive that turned into a Cobie [Barnes] 3. Jalen Poates got his hands on balls defensively and hit a big elbow jumper in the second. It was a complete team win.”
Barnes and fellow-senior Levi Siewert scored all 16 fourth-period points for the Highlanders. Siewert dropped in a pair of huge 3-pointers, while Barnes' 3-point play gave his squad the lead for good at 58-56 with 1:04 left.
“We always think we're going to win, but being down like that in the fourth was tough,” said Barnes, who scored a co-team-high 21. “I didn't feel like I had played that well the first three quarters, but I asked the guys to trust me there late and they did and we got it done.”
Siewert scored all 10 of his points in the second half.
“I knew we needed some momentum and they were locking up Jake [Heidbreder] and Cobie and I just knew I had to take the open shot when I got it,” Siewert said. “They're a very good team. We got up into them defensively and finished things.”
Heidbreder poured in a career-high 21, including four triples.
“Jake Heidbreder was a one-man wrecking crew in the first half that kind of helped us get our sea legs as the game started,” Sturgeon said. “He sent a message to some people across the state tonight.”
North had the final shot of the game — a heavily-contested jump shot in the lane that rimmed off as time expired. The game's final possession was vintage Green and Gold defense.
“Our defense down the stretch was really good,” Coach Sturgeon said. “Jake took [Jared] Hankins, who is their Division I player, in that last possession and wouldn't let him touch the ball. They were burning clock trying to get him the ball. We switched a ball screen perfectly and then we ended up forcing a guarded shot by someone who was not one of their top options.”
Early on it was Heidbreder who set the pace. The lanky guard pumped in 11 in a fast-paced opening frame as the visitors led 18-17 at the first stop. North's Tony Perkins proceeded to score 11 of his game-high 23 in the second period as the hosts grabbed a 30-29 halftime advantage.
“My goodness, they are just a handful to guard,” Coach Sturgeon said of the Wildcats. “They have Jared Hankins, who is going to Indiana State, and then Perkins gets a bunch. And they have big guys who can finish.”
The No. 8 Wildcats, who saw their modest 7-game home winning streak come to an end, hit seven of their nine shots in the third quarter and took a 47-42 lead into the final eight minutes. The Highlanders' lone lead of the second half was the final score.
Floyd was plus-3 in turnovers and won the backboards to a 30-26 tune.
“We just beat a really good, well-coached team on their floor and had to come from behind to do it,” Coach Sturgeon said. “We'll take it.”
Floyd is back in action Tuesday night at home versus Clarksville (1-0).
FLOYD CENTRAL 58, LAWRENCE NORTH 56
Floyd Central 18 11 13 16—58
Lawrence North 17 13 17 9—56
Floyd Central (2-0): Jake Heidbreder 21, Jalen Poates 2, Cobie Barnes 21, Logan Libs 2, Levi Siewert 10, Cam Sturgeon 2.
Lawrence North (0-1): David Perkins 2, Sharm Avance 4, Jared Hankins 13, Tony Perkins 23, Vincent Brady 5, Tyran Rodgers 3, DJ Hughes 6.
3-point field goals:Floyd Central 7 (Heidbreder 4, Siewert 2, Barnes), Lawrence North 8 (Hankins 3, T. Perkins 3, Brady).
Rebounds: Floyd Central 30, Lawrence North 26.
Turnovers: Floyd Central 7, Lawrence North 10.
Field goal shooting: Floyd Central 21-51, Lawrence North 21-44.
3-point shooting:Floyd Central 7-11, Lawrence North 8-16.
Free throw shooting: Floyd Central 9-11, Lawrence North 6-8.
Junior Varsity:Lawrence North 48-37.