Boys basketball takes home County trophy


The boys basketball teams celebrates their win as they become the Marion County Champions. The Panthers defeated the Ben Davis Giants 74-73.

Charlie Baker

This past Saturday the boys basketball team played Ben Davis in the Marion County championship. 

There was lots of anticipation leading up to the game because the two teams had previously played each other. In that game NC came up short, losing by a last minute three point shot in regulation. After winning three games earlier in the week to get to the championship, the team was ready for a rematch against Ben Davis to take home the trophy. 

Southport High School was the host of both the semi-finals and final games. Many people from both the North Central and Ben Davis communities showed out to support their team. 

“I wasn’t too focused on the atmosphere but when I gave it some attention it was really loud. Towards the end of the game the environment and fans from both teams were heated, but overall it was great and I had a lot of fun,” sophomore point guard Mason Lewis said. 

After the first half of the game NC was down by a significant margin. The Giants were ahead 39-26. NC stayed competitive in the second half despite the 13 point deficit.  

“Just staying engaged and not giving up was the key. Coach emphasized to us we weren’t going to get it all back in one possession, but rather by chipping away at the lead and giving it our all,” Lewis said. 

The Panthers came back to win the game in overtime. Senior Joey Brown hit two game winning free throws. Lewis also played a role in the win with 21 points off the bench. 

”We had to get Ben Davis to play the NC way. We had to control the tempo,” head coach Kevin Gant said. 

The win was especially special for Gant because he played for North Central when he was in high school. 

”This community and school is used to a winning basketball tradition, and it’s nice being king of the county again. It means a lot to be able to help bring it back,” Gant said. 

The team felt that a lot of people had low expectations for this year’s team. Many people doubted how competitive NC would be within their conference. 

”I give all the credit to our players and staff for believing in each other. At the end of the day that’s all who matters, because we go through the good, bad and ugly together,” Gant said.