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4A No. 1 Pike forced to go the distance

Red Devils finally put away Warriors when they have the opportunity

12:00 AM, Dec. 20, 2012 EST

It took three overtimes, but the Pike High School basketball team finally shook Warren Central on Wednesday night.

Taishaun Johnson's layup with 1:58 to go in the third OT put the Class 4A No. 1 Red Devils up for good in a 99-94 victory over the host 4A No. 6 Warriors.

Johnson's layup put Pike (7-0) ahead 95-94. After Warren Central (4-3) failed to convert, Zavier Turner's two free throws pushed the lead to 97-94 with 27 seconds to go.

Red Devils coach Bill Zych said his team could have wrapped it up when it had the lead late in regulation and in the other overtimes.

"We didn't play well at times when it was important," Zych said. "We had chances to seal it down the end and just didn't make plays."

Zych said the Red Devils played selfishly early. Pike trailed 24-18 after the first quarter and 39-32 at halftime. The Red Devils shot 32.4 percent in first half.

"Not to take anything away from Warren Central, but we just didn't get things done like we should for a senior lineup," Zych said. "We made a lot of mistakes. But on the other hand, the kids stuck in there and kept battling and we got a chance to win it.

"There's a lot of good things we did to win the game, but we have to clean our play up."

Jordan Pickett, who fouled out, led five Pike players in double figures with 31 points on 13-of-18 shooting.

"He's a little under the weather, but he shook it off," Zych said. "He played a real good game early. He just got in a little foul trouble."

Johnson had 26 points for the Red Devils, hitting 9-of-12 free throws. Turner added 18 points, hitting 10-of-11 free throws.

Warren Central's Devin Davis, who has signed with Indiana University, fouled out with 1:46 to go in the first overtime, finishing with 25 points and 19 rebounds.

"(Jaraan) Lands did a nice job of posting up," Zych said. "Davis is always going to get his points."

Lands led the Warriors with 33 points, hitting 13-of-23 shots and 7-of-9 free throws.

"There were a few possessions and a few calls here and there and it could have gone either way," Warriors coach Greg Graham said. "It was much better play on our part than the last two games. We competed a little better. We just didn't make plays down the stretch when we needed to and turned the ball over."



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