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BOYS BASKETBALL: Harrison holds off Benton Central to claim 3rd place at Franciscan Health Hoops Classic

BOYS BASKETBALL: Harrison holds off Benton Central to claim 3rd place at Franciscan Health Hoops Classic
BY: HUNTER TICKEL Dec 4, 4:20pm

LAFAYETTE — A valiant effort from Benton Central came up short in a 54-41 loss to Harrison on Saturday in the third-place consolation game of the Franciscan Health Hoops Classic.

Harrison jumped out to a 25-6 lead as Benton experienced a cold spell.

“In the first quarter, we did a really good job of executing our game plan,” junior Jordan Walters said. “Third quarter, they got in the paint a lot. I think they had 16 points in the paint. Fourth quarter, we got back executing and finished strong.”

After getting to the break up 29-13 following a pair of free throws from junior forward Jordan Walters, Benton mounted a furious push.

The deficit was cut to 32-25 with 4:26 left in the third as sophomore Cael Williams had a three-point play, junior Drew Brock knocked down a right-wing triple, senior Payton Hall had a layup, Benton had another lay-in and Hall added two more free throws.

The closest Benton got the rest of the way was four points with 5:49 left, after a four-point play from Brock. Brock finished the game with seven points.

Harrison closed the game making 7 of 8 free throws.

“I think we stayed confident in our game plan and stayed calm,” Walters said. “We focused on what we had to do to stop the run. Follow the game plan and keep executing.”

Harrison finished the tournament 2-1 after topping Twin Lakes, 55-50, in the quarterfinal and losing to Central Catholic in the semis. Walter has bigger expectations for his squad.

“I think it’s motivation to improve and get better throughout the season,” Walter said. “Third-place is alright, it’s decent.”

Junior DeAndre Alsup scored all six of his points in the second half as his team held on the win.

“We circled up and talked about what we were doing wrong,” Alsup said of his team in the third quarter. “We got our focus back and that’s what we did in the game. I just got more comfortable and was focused on the game.”

Sophomore Max Jacobsen scored a game-high 13 points for Harrison, Walters and senior Clayton Burgh had 12 points each. Hall led Benton with 11 points.