Team-first Giants claim Hall championship


When the 2022 Hall of Fame Classic ended Friday night in New Castle, coach Don Carlisle stepped back and enjoyed the scene.

His Class 4A No. 1 rated Giants had just completed its second win of the day — a 60-42 win over Class 3A No. 3 Northwood — and Carlisle just wanted to soak in the moment.

“I believe when we play as a team and they embody what we try to preach daily it is terribly hard for anyone to withstand what we are able to do as a TEAM,” Carlisle said.

That team started the day with a 65-53 win over Class 4A No. 2 Penn that featured a high-pressure defense in the second half. Sophomore guard Mark Zachery was the catalyst in the first win, hounding Notre-Dame-bound guard Markus Burton all ove the court. Burton did manage 22 points but hit only 9 of 26 shots.

“That was a great job by Mark,” Carlisle said. “He (Burton) was held under his average and shot 26 shots in a high school game. We wore him down and mark was a huge reason why.”

Zachery earned MVP honors for his defensive efforts in both games. Senior guard Sheridan Sharp joined him on the all-tourney team

The Giants take a 12-0 record on the road his Friday at North Central and then host Washington on Saturday.

Next week the Giants will play in the Marion County tournament — a tourney BD has not won since 1995 — starting with a home game against Beech Grove on January 10. Last year the Giants took an eight-game win streak into the county tourney before winning three games and then blowing a double-digit lead in the championship game against North Central.

Carlisle does not expect any easy outings this season.

“Well since I have been at Ben Davis as a player and coach we have always had to defend against everyone’s best shot whether we are number one or unranked, it just comes with the Giant territory,” he said. ” But we also have goals that I remind them of daily, and I definitely convey my dismay with/to them when we don’t play the way we try to teach them to play.”