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Chad Ryan | The Journal Gazette
Blackhawk Christian’s Joey Morlan puts up a short jumper over Wayne’s Troyon Smith during the first quarter of Tuesday’s game at Blackhawk.

Braves continue to beat bigger schools

Top Wayne for 3rd straight win against Class 4A opponents

– Blackhawk Christian is showing it can keep up with – and beat – the big boys.

The Braves held off Wayne 72-69 on Tuesday in another game on a schedule filled with larger schools.

The game marks the fifth time the Class A No. 11 Braves played a 4A school, winning for the third straight time against that competition.

“We are willing to play whoever is willing to play us,” first-year Blackhawk coach Marc Davidson said. “It is a good challenge for us, and we were fortunate to get the win.”

The Braves have two more games left against 4A competition: Feb. 7 at Marion and at home against Snider on Feb. 13. Blackhawk plays only three 1A schools this year.

The independent Braves (7-6) won for the fourth time in their last five games.

And it is the third straight game against SAC competition, which usually features athletic teams. Blackhawk will play two more SAC teams.

“They definitely have a fast-paced team, but something new for us this year is we also bring an up-tempo style of play,” Blackhawk junior Joey Morlan said of the Generals.

“We matched them with our fast pace, but what won us this game was we got a couple of (defensive) stops at the end.”

Trailing 69-64 with three minutes left, the Generals forced a tie at 69 with 1:30 left.

Wesley Davidson hit 1 of 2 free throws for a 72-69 lead with 9.4 seconds left, and Wayne missed a couple of 3-pointers in the final seconds.

“We did a good job of not letting them speed us up and turning the ball over for easy buckets for them,” Morlan said of holding off Wayne. “We didn’t hit them all, but when we slowed them down and got our stops, we got some key free throws that we knocked down, which ended up being key in our win.”

Morlan led Blackhawk with 18 points, Riley Reimschisel and Will Davidson had 14 and Wesley Davidson finished with 13. The Generals (6-5) have lost four of their last five games.

“We were very poor defensively (Tuesday),” Wayne coach Aaron Rehrer said. “Our chemistry right now is not very good, and that’s not going to beat a good team.”

Cameron LeShore led Wayne with 24 points.

Justin Mitchell added 22 points and Levi Mitchell got 14. Jescus Mitchell, the third Mitchell brother, missed his third game for Wayne for medical reasons.

Justin Mitchell picked up his fourth foul late in the third quarter and sat out until midway through the fourth as the Braves extended the lead.

gjones@jg.net

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