Once the Class 3A Semi-State game was completed, the stage was set for the Class 4A South Semi-State between the Lawrence North Wildcats and the Bloomington South Panthers.
The Panthers came out of the gate shooting red-hot from distance, connecting on four 3-point baskets in the first quarter. 6’4” Senior Joey Bomba poured in 13 points in the opening stanza, keying South to a 19-12 lead after one quarter. For the Wildcats, 6’5” Junior (and Indiana University commit) CJ Gunn knocked down a three and a mid-range jump shot in scoring 5 first quarter points.
6’1” Senior Shamar Avance sparked the Wildcats with a 7-point second quarter, displaying a nice balance in terms of shooting from the perimeter and driving into the paint, proving difficult for the Panthers to guard. South knocked down a total of 6 threes in the first half, and took a 3-point lead into the locker room.
The second half was hotly contested, as one would expect in a Semi-State contest. The Wildcats really began to attack in the paint through 6’5” Senior Donaven McCulley (Indiana University Football signee) and 6’7” Senior DJ Hughes (Butler University signee). Instrumental in the Wildcats’ efforts today were 5’10” Senior Kayden Beatty, a left-handed Guard that is especially dangerous on catch-and-shoot corner three-point shots.
For the Panthers, 6’2’ Senior Trevor Taylor had a huge second half, scoring 16 points. Taylor finished with a game-high 22 points. Bomba knocked down 5 three-pointers on his way to 21 points on the day. I was really impressed with Bomba’s ability to quickly get his shot off against the stout Lawrence North defense.
Gunn showed an impressive all-around game for the Wildcats, displaying an ability to rise up with a perimeter jump shot that is difficult to defend. I was also impressed with his passing ability.
There was high drama at the conclusion at this one. The Wildcats held a tenuous 54-51 lead in the waning seconds, and the Wildcats committed a foul just before South could attempt what may have been a game-tying three. After the first free throw cut the lead to two, South missed the second free throw, and had a good look that could have tied the game. It was not to be, though, as Lawrence North held on to capture the Class 4A South Semi-State Championship
Lawrence North advances to what will be an all-MIC State Championship game against the Carmel Greyhounds.