Indy heads to the Final Four with 59-52 win over Olympic

Indy’s Raja Melton scores a layup late in the fourth quarter.(Ron Morris)
Share this:

Jordan Mobley boosts the Patriots with four back-to-back 4th quarter 3-pointers

In Tuesday’s Elite Eight round of the NCHSAA 4A men’s basketball playoffs number 2 Independence hosted number 3 Olympic with the winner moving on to the Final Four.

This was the second time these two teams faced each other this season.   In the first game, which was Indy’s second game of the season, Indy traveled to Olympic High School and came away with 64-46 victory over the Trojans.

In Thursday night’s game, Olympic won the opening tip and immediately it became obvious that the Trojans did not want to get into a fast paced game with the Patriots. The Trojans were content to take their time working for the shot they wanted to make the game a low scoring affair.

AJ McKee gets past Olympic’s Derrion Parks and scores the layup.(Ron Morris)

The slow paced game plan worked well for the Trojans.  They took Indy out of its usual fast paced offense and kept the score within a reachable range.  With 1:46 left in the first period Indy led by 8-4.  However, with one minute remaining Indy’s Anthony Allen knocked down a 3-pointer to make the score 11-6.  Indy’s AJ McKee stole the ball with 18.9 seconds left to play, drove to the basket and made the layup to end the quarter with the Patriots leading 13-6.

In the second quarter Olympic scored four quick points cutting Indy’s lead to three points at 13-10.  At the 6:01 mark, Raja Milton drained a 3-pointer putting Indy back up by six 16-10.

With 1:37 remaining in the first half, Olympic missed a shot and both teams went after the loose ball.  Indy’s AJ McKee went to the floor followed by Olympic and Patriots players.  Before the referees could stop the action, Olympic’s Chris Gilmore jumped on top of the pile hitting McKee in the face.  At that time the scrum got very physical and players had to be separated.  Once the officials got everything back under control, the referees called a double technical foul; one on Olympic’s Chris Gilmore and  the other one on Indy’s AJ McKee.  No players were disqualified and the game continued with Olympic getting the ball on an inbounds play.

The half came to an end without any more conflicts, and Indy took a 25-22 halftime lead.

The score remained close throughout the third quarter.  With the slowed down pace, the Patriots just couldn’t pull away and could manage only nine third quarter points while Olympic scored ten points in the period to cut Indy’s lead 34-32 heading into the final period of play.

With 6:22 left in the game Indy’s big man Matt Smith threw down a two-handed dunk to increase Indy’s lead to 38-32.  At the 5:43 mark Olympic cut the lead to three at 38-35.

With 5:06 remaining in the game, senior Jordan Mobley, playing in his last home game, broke the game open with four back-to-back 3-pointers.  Mobley made his first 3-pointer from the baseline to make the score 41-35.  Olympic answered with a 3-pointer of their own making the score 41-38.

At the 3:56 mark, Mobley hit his second 3-pointer from the top of the key to make the score 44-38.  With 3:25 left on the clock, Mobley drained another 3-pointer, 47-38.  A few seconds later Mobley knocked down his fourth 3-pointer to make the score 50-39.

Jordan said:  “I just play my role.  My teammates got me the ball.  I was open and I took the shot.”

Jamarius Burton drives the baseline against Olympic. Burton scored 12 points in the 59-52 victory.(Ron Morris)

After an Olympic basket, Jamarius Burton was fouled as he drove down the lane.  Burton made both of his free throws to increase Indy’s lead 52-41.

As Olympic took the ball down the floor, Raja Milton stole the ball as the Trojans crossed the mid-court line.  Milton drove to the basket and made the layup to make the score 54-41 with 2:15 left to play.

With 53.3 seconds remaining and Indy leading 54-45, Burton picked up a foul, went to the line and made one of his foul shots to make the score 55-45.

With only 33 seconds left to play,  Matt Smith went to the basket for another two-handed dunk.  Olympic answered back with a 3-pointer at the 24 second mark making the score 57-50.

Jamarius Burton finished the Patriots’ scoring as he made two free throws with 12 seconds left on the clock to make the score 59-50.  Olympic quickly got the ball down the floor and made a shot as time ran out, and the Patriots took a 59-52 victory and punched their ticket to the Final Four.

Indy’s head coach Preston Davis talks with his team during a fourth quarter timeout.(Ron Morris)

After the game I talked with a very excited Coach Davis who said:  “I’m happy for these kids.  They have worked their tails off all year.  They have faced a lot of adversity and have had to deal with me on a daily basis.  I know that I’m hard to please especially when it comes to basketball.  But through it all these kids have stayed together and that is the most important thing.  They have worked for each other all year. I have to tell them all the time that it is not about me.  It is for you guys.  You are the ones putting in the hard work and dealing with me being tough on you guys.  So win for yourselves.  Don’t win for me.  Win for yourselves.  Remember you put in the work so you guys go after this.

But I’m excited for the kids.  We played tough.  It was a scrappy game very physical.  Both of us were competing and getting after it.  I’m just glad the kids found a way to win and I just hope we can keep winning.”

I asked Coach Davis about Jordan Mobley’s three point shooting and the Coach said:  “That kid is just mentally tough.  He has been through this program for four years.  He had to wait his turn.  We had some good guards in the past that he had to wait behind them,  but he never lost his trust in the program.  He stayed focused on getting better and at any point of time he can knock down points for us.  I’m proud of him.  Tonight was his last game in this gym, and Jordan left a big mark tonight.”

The Patriots advanced to the Final Four and will take on cross town rival Rocky River for a chance to play for the State 4A Championship.

Jordan Mobley led the Patriots with 17 points, one rebound, one assist and two steals.  Jamarius Burton added 12 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals.  Matthew Smith had 11 points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and three blocked shots.  Raja Milton had 10 points, four rebounds, five assists and five steals.  Andra’ “AJ” McKee scored six points,   had four rebounds, one assist and two steals.  Anthony Allen finished the night with 3 points, one assist and one steal.

Olympic               6  16  10  20  –  52

Independence   13  12    9  25  –  59

Share this: