Boys Basketball SW Game of the Week: D4 District Final: Jackson Center Dominates Cincinnati College Prep

The Tigers of Jackson Center turned their press break into fast breaks in dominating Cincinnati College Prep 56-34 in a SW District Final at the University of Dayton Arena Friday Night, March 3rd.

CCP employed a 1-2-2 three quarter court zone trap throughout the game. Jackson Center approached it by using two wide ball handlers, getting the ball to the middle and attacking the back end. The strategy resulted in multiple three on two advantages and yielded multiple hoops.

Cincy Prep started fast building a 14-8 first quarter lead and scored the opening bucket in Q2. From there to the 2:27 mark of the third quarter, The Tigers held them to just 3 total points while running off 26 of their own.

"I can't speak enough about our team defense," noted Tiger Coach Scott Elchert. "Nolan Fark was on ( CCP Top Scorer) Josh Marshall most of the time and he had great help in the gaps which we knew was what it was going to take. Marshall led Prep with 11 points but was just 3 of 19 from the field.

The Jackson Center run started with a blocked shot and long 3-pointer by Grant Elchert at 3:43 of the 2nd quarter putting the Tigers up 17-16 for the game's only lead change.

For Jackson Center, Jace Mullenhour led the way with 25 points and 13 rebounds and was joined in double-double land by Camdyn Reese who had 12 and 11.

Coach Elchert thought the aggressive press break was a key.

"That's the thing about playing against any kind of pressure. We do have confidence in this team being able to break the press. It becomes a risk reward for them. How long are the willing to stay in it? But when they got down, they didn't have much choice."

Fark and Mullenhour both mentioned they had worked on those types of fundamentals for a long time.

"We've been working on fundamental basketball since practices in kindergarten or first grade. So it just comes naturally to us now," he explained. "We worked on that press break all week," Fark said. "It felt like practice again."

Mullenhour had similar words to describe his ability to dominate play in the lane despite not being the team's biggest player.

"It has a lot to do with footwork. Coaches have been working with us since about first grade on going into the post and doing it."

Jackson Center will move on to the Sweet Sixteen in Division 4 tournament play in a 5:30 game at Trent Arena in Kettering on Tuesday, March 7th. The Tigers will face Columbus Patriot Preparatory School in that Region 14 Semi-Final.
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