Trayce Jackson-Davis named Indiana Mr. Basketball

Ben Greller | Staff Writer

On Sunday, May 5, Trayce Jackson-Davis became the first player from Center Grove to win Mr. Basketball. The Mr. Basketball award is given to the most outstanding basketball player competing for an IHSAA school. Jackson-Davis finished with 179 out of 302 votes, with the votes coming from high school coaches and media members.

Jackson-Davis is just the third player from Johnson County and the first in 78 years to win the award. Prior winners were George Crowe of Franklin in 1939 and John Bass of Greenwood in 1941. Jackson-Davis joins a group with high-end names such as Glenn Robinson, Rick Mount and Eric Gordon.

“Just being on the same level as guys like Greg Oden, Kris Wilkes, and Kyle Guy is honestly a blessing,” Jackson-Davis said.

Jackson-Davis will also become the 28th player who has won Mr. Basketball to go on to play for Indiana University, joining the ranks of recent winners Cody Zeller, Jordan Hulls, Erica Gordon and Jared Jeffries.

“It’s a blessing joining such an elite group of players like Steve Alford, Damon Bailey and Romeo Langford is really amazing,” Jackson-Davis said.

At the beginning of his freshman year, winning the title seemed more of a far-off thought than a goal.

“It was a goal that Coach Hahn and I talked about, but it was mostly just a thought,” Jackson-Davis said. “It didn’t truly become a reality until my junior season. Coming in as a freshman, I did a lot of back to the basket post work, but I have grown into a very versatile forward with a lot of potential and upside.”

Head Coach Zach Hahn has seen Jackson-Davis’s development into the best player in the state first hand.

“The improvements he made physically and skill wise over the last four years is a testament to his hard work and what we do in our program,” Hahn said.

Jackson-Davis also credits the people surrounding him.

“I think that my parents and siblings were a huge reason why I succeeded,” Jackson-Davis said. “Also my teammates and my coaches really helped me along the way.”

Jackson-Davis will leave Center Grove as the program’s all-time leader in points, rebounds and blocks. As well as winning the Mr. Basketball title, Jackson-Davis was selected as a McDonald’s All-American, selected as a Jordan Brand All-American, voted the MIC’s most valuable player twice, recognized as a USA U-18 team member, and earned multiple All-County awards.

 

Trojan Update with Ben Greller

Each week sports writer Ben Greller will have updates on last week’s sporting events, as well as previewing this week’s matchups. Look for Greller’s update every week to get you ready for each week’s big games. This week includes perspective from sports writer Sebastian Martin.

Girls Basketball The girls basketball team concluded a great season this past Saturday, falling  to Bedford North Lawrence 51-33 in the regionals. The Trojans finished 22-4 overall, which was good for second place in the MIC. They were also county and sectional champions, as well as the Columbus North Holiday Tournament champions.

Wrestling At semi-state this past weekend, Center Grove had two wrestlers come out victorious and punch their ticket to Bankers Life Fieldhouse for the state wrestling finals. Brayden Littell and Peyton Pruett will wrestle in the first round of the state finals on Friday at 6 p.m. at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse.

Girls Swimming and Diving The girls swimming team also concluded their season as well this past weekend. The relay team of Gracie Marsh, Emma Pawlik, Jaden King and Devin Trammell swam a 3:39.59 to finish 22nd at the state meet, one spot better than their seed time. Diver Kenzie Mills, in her first state finals appearance, advanced to the state semi-finals, finishing 18th overall.

Boys Swimming The boys swimming and diving team will swim in sectional semi-finals this coming Thursday with finals on Saturday. Center Grove has had a great year and will go into Saturday with a chance to win the meet and can undoubtedly send multiple swimmers to the state finals.

Boys Basketball (Perspective from Sebastian Martin) The Trojans (13-7) are coming off a week that included a 85-41 win over Roncalli and an eleven point defeat to No. 4 Lawrence Central. This week the Trojans will look for victory at home against Mooresville (13-6) on Tuesday and on the road against North Central (5-14) on Friday. The Trojans will likely be the toughest competitor Mooresville faces until the tournament, and the Pioneers will be coming into the Vandermeer Gymnasium looking to pull off an upset. Assuming Center Grove can take care of business on Friday night, they should walk away with a road win in the conference.

Boys and Girls Track Both track teams will start their first official practice this week. It should be an amazing season as they are bringing in lots of young talent as well as returning a sprinkle of veterans such as Kiyah Yeast, Julia Riley, Makensie Kramer, Sebastian Martin, Gavin Matheson and Sam Hohlt to help compete in their first meet, Indoor MIC, on March 15.

Trojan Update with Ben Greller

Each week sports writer Ben Greller will have updates on last week’s sporting events, as well as previewing this week’s matchups. Look for Greller’s update every week to get you ready for each week’s big games. This week includes perspective from sports writer Sebastian Martin.

IMG_2259Girls Basketball The Lady Trojans claimed the sectional championship this past Saturday. It was a hard fought 45-36 win over a tough Franklin Community squad. The Trojans will now move onto the regional against Bedford North Lawrence (22-5). As a fan, I would expect to be attending the games Saturday and seeing the Lady Trojans come out on top of both. The second game will be at 7:30 Saturday night against the winner of the Castle (21-4) and Bloomington South (21-3) game. Throughout the entire season, the Lady Trojans have prided themselves on playing team basketball, bringing defensive intensity each game, and having great backcourt play from seniors Emma Utterback and Ella Thompson. Expect that to continue and for the Trojans to be crowned regional champions this Saturday.

Girls Swimming and Diving This past weekend at sectionals, the relay team of Jaden King, Emma Pawlik, Gracie Marsh and Devin Trammell moved themselves on to the state meet. They will be swimming at the IUPUI natatorium at 1:00 on Saturday. Kenzie Mills also advanced in the diving portion of the sectional meet this past weekend. She will be diving tonight at Bloomington North in the regional meet at 6:00 with a berth in the state finals on the line.

Wrestling Six CG wrestlers will be moving onto the semi-state round after this past weekend’s regional. Senior Peyton Pruett and junior Brayden Littell were regional champions and will look to continue their dominate seasons. Michael Tharpe, Hayden Watson, Drake Buchanan and Jordan Latham will also be moving on to Evansville this weekend where the top four wrestlers in each weight class will advance to the state finals.

IMG_3422Boys Basketball (Perspective from Sebastian Martin)- The boys basketball team will take on the Roncalli Rebels Tuesday night in a makeup game, as well as the Lawrence Central Bearcats on Friday. The Trojans are coming off of a 14-point loss to defending state champion Warren Central last Thursday and looking for a better outcome against a Roncalli team that has a losing record. Friday’s competition will be a bit tougher, as the Trojans take on a Lawrence Central team that lost to Warren Central by only four points.

Trojan Update with Ben Greller

Each week sports writer Ben Greller will have updates on last week’s sporting events, as well as previewing this week’s matchups. Look for Greller’s update every week to get you ready for each week’s big games. This week includes perspective from sports writer Sebastian Martin.

img_1938Girls Basketball- This week is sectionals for the girls basketball team. The Lady Trojans recently had their 19-game winning streak snapped at Lawrence North this past Friday. It was an amazing regular season for the Lady Trojans and I would expect nothing less in their postseason run. They face a hard-nosed Martinsville team tonight for the third time this year, looking to make it three wins vs. the Artesians. It’s hard to beat a team three times in a year, but I see the Trojans overcoming the challenge and ending the week posing for pictures with the sectional championship trophy.

img_9856Girls Swimming and Diving- It is sectional week for the ladies swimming and diving team as well. Their hardest competition this week will be Franklin Community, which has won the last three sectional crowns. Look for the Trojans to send multiple athletes to the state meet including the 400 freestyle relay team of Emma Pawlik, Gracie Marsh, Jaden King and Devin Tramell.

Boys Swimming and Diving- With two weeks left in the season, the boys swimming and diving team will look to end their regular season with a home win over Bloomington South tonight. Looking forward, the team will have a chance to win the sectional championship this year. They will also face the powerhouse that is Franklin Community swimming, but they have a chance to take them down this year as a team.

Wrestling-  The wrestling team lost by a half point to Franklin Community at sectionals last week. However, they will move nine wrestlers onto the regional championship including sectional champions Michael Tharpe, Hayden Watson, Brayden Littell and Peyton Pruett.  Individual qualifiers for the Regional Meet also include Drake Buchanan, Sam Howe, Jordan Latham, Owen Green and Musa Ogega. The Trojans will look to avenge last week’s showing with a team regional title this weekend.

Boys Basketball (Perspective from Sebastian Martin)- After last week’s nine point loss to Lawrence North, the boys basketball team is 13-5 overall with a 1-3 conference record. This Thursday, they will look to improve their record in a contest against defending state champion Warren Central. The Warriors are 18-1 on the season, with their only loss a ten point defeat at the hands of Lawrence Central. When the Trojans met Warren previously in the championship game of the Hall of Fame Classic, Center Grove lost 52-50 in overtime. Thursday night, they will look to McDonald’s All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis to lead them to victory in what has the potential to be an excellent contest of two top notch basketball teams.

Best Buddies hosts first ever shootout during boys basketball halftime

McKenna Bryant | Staff Writer

During halftime of the boys varsity basketball game against Lawrence North last Friday, Best Buddies had the opportunity to have a shootout of their own.screen shot 2019-01-28 at 10.55.50 am

“We were trying to come up with something different for our January out of school event, and we always try to make sure our buddies participate in a typical high school event,” senior Molly Surface said.

The members of Best Buddies approached Coach Zach Hahn with the idea and worked with Hahn and other Center Grove Basketball regulars to figure out when they could hold the event and recognize the buddies.

“I think it’s important because the more people who volunteer and play with the kids, then the more the kids will play basketball and have fun,” senior Lexie Hoskins said. “They don’t want to do it if no one comes, and I know they have a better time with more people around and encouraging them.”screen shot 2019-01-28 at 10.55.57 am

The event showcased a competition between two different teams to see who could make more free throws in three minutes. Club members wanted to be prepared, so they practiced their shooting skills twice last week during STaR.

The club’s goal was to help the buddies get involved with the school and bring more awareness to their group.

“I believed we accomplished some quality basketball, some quality fun, and some quality inclusion,” Teacher Adam Gaff said.

Five Star Trayce Jackson-Davis named McDonald’s All-American

Ben Greller | Staff Writer

Yesterday Trayce Jackson-Davis was named a McDonald’s All-American, the first Center Grove student to earn this honor.

Each January a comittee of writers and media members come together and select the nation’s top 24 high school basketball players. The 24 players are divided into two teams and play in the McDonald’s All-American game on Wednesday, March 28 at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta.

The McDonald’s All-American game has a rich history as it has featured some of basketballs brightest stars since the game was first played in 1977. Jackson-Davis will join names such as Lebron James, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and Kevin Garnett to have played in the game.

“Watching that game when I was little seeing Lebron dominate that game and now is one of the greatest in the NBA is actually pretty awesome to think about,” Jackson-Davis said. “It is such a high honor that took a lot of hard work that makes me want to work harder.”

With Jackson-Davis’ selection, Indiana has now produced at least one McDonald’s All-American in each of the last 10 years. Jackson-Davis is the 49th overall player from Indiana selected to play in the prestigious high school basketball event.

“Just to keep that streak alive I think is really cool. I feel as if some of the best players have played in that game and to be honored with that is just extremely humbling,” Jackson-Davis said.

Jackson-Davis is also committed to play basketball at Indiana University next fall. He is the 31st player in their history to be selected to play.

“Indiana has had a lot of great players, even Hall of Famers on that list. It makes you think of what you can get to with hard work, and I know that coaching staff will push me to that,” Jackson-Davis said.

Jackson-Davis has received an outpouring of support from the Center Grove community in wake of his selection. The community has watched him grow as a player, as well as help grow the basketball program.

“This is one of the highest honors you can receive as a high school basketball player,” basketball coach Zach Hahn said. “An unbelievable accomplishment. CG Basketball and the community have been fortunate to be a part of his fantastic high school career. It shows the growth and development of Trayce as well as the CG Basketball program. The volume in which he improved and matured over the last four years is a testament to his willingness to work.”

 

Trojan Update with Ben Greller

Each week sports writer Ben Greller will have updates on last week’s sporting events, as well as previewing this week’s matchups. Look for Greller’s update every week to get you ready for each week’s big games. This week includes perspective from sports writer Sebastian Martin.

D045ABBA-1BA6-4EB4-84A0-1BB3C859BDD5Wrestling 

It is a big week for the wrestling squad. With a new coach and a very young team, they have seen success early on. This past week the wrestling team finished runner-up in the Zionsville invitational. CG had three wrestlers going undefeated in addition to Brayden Littell taking home most valuable wrestler. This week will be a good test for the young Trojans. On Wednesday they will welcome Carmel and Saturday they will travel to Indian Creek for the Johnson County tournament. I see the them winning both matchups. Carmel is not nearly as deep and winning county has proved to be a normal thing over the past six years for Trojans. Expect a great week for the young Trojans.

Girls Basketbal

On Tuesday the girls basketball team will take on a solid Martinsville team that is 9-1. Martinsville does not have a standout victory, but 9-1 is no joke. I think the lady Trojans will take care of them, but you can expect the Artesians to put up a solid fight. After Tuesday’s matchup, they will welcome the Red Devils of Pike High School on Saturday. Pike has a solid squad that has had a back-and-forth year including a victory over the #1 ranked Warren Central Warriors. Pike has been much better on the road than they have been at home, but I expect the Trojans to take care of business at home and cap of a great week.

Swimming

It will be a hard week for both swim teams this week. Tuesday they will go up against a strong Avon team who will provide some hard competition. It will be a home meet and would provide as a great win for both teams. After Avon will be the county meet also at Indian Creek. This will be another tough matchup for both teams as the county meet has been dominated by Franklin community over the past couple of years. I see this week as being a great test for both teams and both meets being fun to watch.

D0C90D36-07BE-4E7F-BCE1-CCF3B56B19C4Boys Basketball

After a couple of losses last weekend, the Trojans are back in action against Whiteland (2-2) on Friday and Avon (3-3) on Saturday. Friday’s game will be on the road, in a Whiteland arena that will be packed with home fans hoping for an upset against likely the highest ranked opponent the Warriors will face all year. If the Trojans limit unforced errors, however, they should walk away with a win. Playing Avon is slightly more challenging, but again the Trojans are strong favorites after having shown competitiveness against one of the top teams in the nation, La Lumiere, last weekend. The Orioles will be coming to Center Grove Saturday after what will likely be a challenging game for the Orioles against Brownsburg on Friday night. If the Trojans come to play, there is no reason they shouldn’t leave this weekend with two more tallies in the “W” column.