BERNE—From the opening tip until the final horn, Adams Central left no doubt that their regular season opening win against Churubusco was no fluke.
The Jets (13-7) took care of business in the opening round of sectional play at South Adams Tuesday night earning a convincing 54-33 win over the Eagles (4-19) to advance to Friday night's semi-final match-up with title favorite Bishop Luers.
Adams Central had won with a similar score, 51-34, in the opener.
Jets' seniors Isaac Luginbill and Pierce Harris were both back in the starting lineups after battling foot injuries. Luginbill made his presence felt early stroking the game's first basket, a three from the wing.
Adams Central would cough up the ball on two consecutive plays after that and the Eagles scored a bucket on an offensive board to make it 3-2 Jets. That would be the only offense for Churubusco in the first quarter.
The Jets would close the first quarter on a 10-0 run to lead 13-2 after eight minutes. Dalton Combs, AC's leading scorer, made a jumper during the run fading away from a double-team and finding nothing but the bottom of the net.
The play of the night occurred just a few plays later on a broken play during an AC possession. Anthony Spangler dove on the floor and tossed the ball to Hayden Black. The junior dribbled once, then found Luginbill streaking to the hoop among the disorder. Contested at the hoop, Luginbill made a look away pass to Harris who finished the lay-up at the hoop for the final two points of the quarter.
Jets' coach Aaron McClure noted the solid play of his squad, "The game plan tonight was to come in and play 32 minutes of basketball. We had a couple of early turnovers in the game but we settled down and played well."
Early in the second quarter, Combs picked up a second foul and sat for the remainder of the half. Lacking their senior scoring leader, the Jet reserves withstood a 5-0 start to the second quarter for 'Busco that turned into a 14-7 frame and just a four-point AC lead with under two minutes to go in the half.
Luginbill would hit a pair of free throws to get the Jets scoring once again and on another broken play that left the Eagles scrambling on the defensive, Luginbill lit up the lamp as time expired for three more points and a 25-16 AC edge.
"To go from six points up to nine with a buzzer-beater at the half really deflated them," observed coach McClure.
In the third quarter, the Jets came out firing on all cylinders once again earning a 34-17 advantage on a 9-1 start. The AC defensive made life tough on the Eagles on the inside swatting shots left and right led by back-up center, Blade Kable who had five rejections in the ball game.