INDIANAPOLIS | Nick Davidson and his Andrean teammates were getting ready for Saturday's game at Indianapolis Marshall High School when the senior guard saw an old face walking toward him.
Indiana University coach Tom Crean walked over to greet the Munster lad. As a freshman, Crean invited Davidson down for a visit. It thrilled the kid.
“I've loved Indiana basketball since I was little,” said Davidson, who has signed to play for Bryce Drew and Valparaiso next year.
Crean wished Davidson good luck and told him he'd followed this season and congratulated him on a great run so far.
But the fact Crean never gave a scholarship offer was a bit of motivation for Davidson as The Times No. 1 'Niners took on Indianapolis Northwest in IPSAC/Midwest Showcase.
“Maybe just a little bit,” Davidson said. “Even if it's someone you respect, you want to show them that you have something worth watching.”
Davidson played a splendid game in Andrean's 77-74 white-knuckle win over the Pioneers (3-3). He had 22 points and eight assists to earn the MVP trophy.
“Our kids have a fighting spirit,” said Andrean coach Carson Cunningham, who was at Purdue when Northwest coach Mosi Barnes was in West Lafayette, too.
“We hit some big shots, making the extra pass. We had a lot of kids who stepped up and played big.”
Skyler Moss scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Collin Wojcik hit two 3s and scored 10. But it was Sam Toporski who hit four 3-pointers, three in the fourth quarter, that allowed Andrean (7-0) to overcome a second-half 10-point deficit.
“Those were monsters,” Cunningham said.
Andrean led 16-12 after the first quarter. Then, the Pioneers caught fire and hit six 3-pointers in the second quarter, where they scored 31.
Justin Parker came off the bench and hit three treys in his 11-point frame. In one 21-second span, the Pioneers hit two 3-pointers and had a thunderous dunk. Parker had one 3 and the dunk.
Northwest led 43-34 at the half.
“It was like an Indianapolis rainstorm of 3s,” Cunningham said.
Toporski said he wasn't concerned after the first 16 minutes of ugliness.
“Whenever we have a bad first half we usually come out all fired up,” Toporski said. “My guys did a great job kicking it out to me in the corner. This was a big win for us. They gave us a great game and we came back and got the win.”