With two undefeated teams going head-to-head in the opening round of the Davenport University tournament, it was the Forester men's basketball
team (7-0) that kept their string alive with a 85-82 win over Indiana University East (7-1) to advance to the championship game on Saturday.
The first half saw nine lead changes and five ties as neither team could gain much of an advantage. Down 15-14 at the 12:15 mark, the Foresters' big men, Caleb Kennedy and Shane Merryman, combined for eight of HU's next ten points within a two-minute span to give HU a 24-15 lead. The Red Wolves didn't seem rattled as they spent the rest of the half chipping away at HU's lead behind ten point from Tyler Rigby and by the halftime buzzer, IU East led 40-37.
The Red Wolves hung on to the lead until Tyler Shively drained his second trey of the half at the 16:31 mark to tie things up at 47-47. Both teams played even over the next several minutes but Bobby Jolliff's six points over 90 seconds gave HU a 65-59 lead they would never relinquish. The Foresters enjoyed their their largest lead of the game, 76-64, with just over five minutes left in the contest but the Red Wolves made one more surge that cut HU's lead to one, 83-82, with 27 ticks on the clock. Shively was fouled on the ensuing possession and he calmly sank two free throws to give HU a three-point cushion. The Red Wolves threw up two desperation threes that fell short giving the Foresters the 85-82 win.
Shively led all scorers with 21 points. Kennedy and Kellen Zawadzki each finished with 17 points. Kennedy also grabbed a game-high 9 boards. Seth Kisler and Bobby Jolliff came off the bench to chip in 11 and 10 points respectively. David Sanders led the Red Wolves in scoring with 20. Joining him in double digits were Rigby with 19, Matt Trimnell with 15 and Brent Burris with 12.
The Foresters advance to the championship game of the Davenport tournament on Saturday where they will take on the 11th-ranked Panthers at 3:00 p.m.