HAMMOND | Clark's game plan to beat Gavit in the Class 3A Hammond boys basketball sectional opener Tuesday was to slow the game down.
What was missing from the Pioneers' plan was timely shooting.
Clark shot 28 percent from the floor and missed 11 free throws as Gavit turned a nine-point deficit into a 50-42 win. In the second game at the Hammond Civic Center, Griffith beat Roosevelt 67-44.
"In the first game in a big building like this, I was worried about our kids and sure enough we came out flat and Clark jumped out right away," Gavit coach Brandon Ridenour said. "We just didn't have any energy."
Lawrence Jones led Gavit with 11 points as the Glads moved the ball around and used eight scorers.
"We play 10 kids nightly and it's not uncommon for us to have eight or nine guys scoring," Ridenour said. "A lot of that is the way we play and Clark did a nice job of controlling that tempo, we never really got it the way we wanted it."
The Pioneers entered the fourth quarter up by a point at 33-32. The Gladiators (12-10) then scored 11 of their 18 fourth-quarter points from the free-throw line.
"We talked about executing," Clark coach Joe Delgado said. "We were not making those easy shots. Our free throws have been up and down a lot this year and it came back to bite us."
Bernateau Jean-Michel led the Pioneers (8-13) with 14 points and LaRoi Harmon chipped in 11 before he fouled out. Marquis Hearnon had 12 rebounds, including seven in the first half.
Griffith used the inside attack of Ben Parish to turn a six-point halftime lead into a runaway game in the third quarter.
Parish scored seven straight points as part of Griffith’s 14-0 run in the third, while the defense held Roosevelt to two buckets in the frame.
“Our game plan was to get as many touches to Parish as we could,” Griffith coach Gary Hayes said. “Our spacing was good to get him that. … The key to our game was Flint Powell, who was great at the point.”
Powell scored 11 points, nine in the first half. Parish, who will attend Indiana Northwest next fall, had a game-high 23.
Jaron Lipscomb led Roosevelt (2-16) with 17 points and Saleem El-Amin chipped in 11.
“We’ll be back (next season) with the players I need,” Roosevelt coach Renaldo Thomas said. “We’ll be back, I promise you that.”