‘The sky’s the limit’

Cards varsity basketball shows their potential after close game with Ben Davis Giants


Lizzie Forrester

Senior A.J. Dancler prepares to shoot the basketball. Dancler ended the night with 18 points, making 11 out of his 12 free throws.

The Ben Davis Giants were on a free throw roll going 11-11 in overtime on Nov. 30. During the last 10 seconds of overtime, one of their players was taking the 12th free throw, but he missed. 

SHS senior Nickens Lemba got the rebound from under the basket as the clock began to run. He passed it to fellow senior A.J. Dancler who sped down the court with two players right behind him. He planted his feet at the three-point line and took the contested shot that could tie the game and cause a second overtime. Dancler missed the shot, and the Cardinals fell to the Giants 55-52. 

But, while some people might think that the Cards should’ve won, the team wasn’t completely upset with the outcome. Ben Davis is currently ranked number two in the state for boys basketball, and the Cardinals just proved that they’re strong enough to hang with the best teams in the state. 

“I feel like if we played better, we could’ve beat them,” Dancler said. “But we showed we have the potential to beat anyone if we play hard enough.”

Dancler led the team in points with 18 while Lemba was not far behind him with 15 points. Lemba also led the team in blocks. 

For the first half, there was almost no scoring happening for either team, and the halftime score was 15-15. 

The game was full of fouls, and senior Jayden Pinkston even fouled out during overtime. The referees made a lot of calls throughout the game including a call against Lemba for goaltending. That one call changed the course of the game for the Cards since it took two vital points off the board.

But, even though this game ended with a loss for the Cards, they proved themselves as a team to look out for this season. With Lemba on defense at 6 feet 6 inches and Dancler on the court turning out points, there’s reason to believe that they’ll do exceptionally well this season. 

“The sky’s the limit for this group if they stay together and stay working,” boys basketball head coach Eric Brand said.