By RILEY BOYD
St. Joseph Post
The St. Joseph Central boys' basketball team took down the Benton Cardinals in the fifth annual Benton Boys Basketball Cardinal Classic, 63-45 at Springer Gymnasium Saturday.
Central (8-8) was led by Gabe Fields, who put up 26 points in the win. Brock Williamson was the next highest scorer for Central, putting up nine.
Lincoln Goodwin scored 13 points for the Cardinals (5-9) in the loss. Zach Smith added nine.
The game started out as a low scoring affair, with Central leading 8-4 after the first quarter, with Fields scoring four of the Indian’s eight points. Carson Schmidt scored all four points for the Cardinals in the first quarter.
The second quarter saw an offensive explosion for Central, as they put up 23 points over those eight minutes. This was partially fueled by a technical foul on Benton after a player threw the ball down the floor after the play was over, resulting in the Indians getting two extra free throws and the ball back.
Central went into halftime leading 31-18, and eventually led 42-26 headed to the fourth.
Benton never gave up, but tempers flared in the closing minutes of the game, as the Benton coach Jared Boone wanted a technical foul assessed to Central after a player tried a full-court shot after play was whistled dead. He argued it was similar to the incident in the second quarter where Benton was T-d up for throwing a ball down the floor.
Instead, Boone received two technicals after a heated argument with the officials, and was eventually ejected.
Despite some high drama at times against an intracity rival, Central coach Jacob Kimble was pleased with his team’s performance in the end.
“I thought we handled their pressure well, I thought we moved the ball well, and overall I’m just super proud of our guys," he said.
Kimble was very impressed by the play of Fields in particular.
(Fields) comes out here and takes care of business. He is a different type of athlete.”
Fields and Shadai Ndamboma were named to the All-Tournament team as well.
Fields says he knew there were going to be free throw opportunities down the stretch, and he didn’t feel any pressure, because he knew his teammates had his back.
“The ball’s going to find who it needs to find," Fields said. "Anybody (on this team) can shoot free throws. It only matters who gets fouled. We have faith in everybody, we have trust in each other.”
Central is home to Winnetonka Tuesday. Benton will host Mid-Buchanan on Tuesday as well.
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