New Haven advanced to the IHSAA Class 4A Boy's Basketball Sectional championship game at Huntington North with a resounding win over Wayne on Friday.
Here were five keys to the Bulldogs' success:
1. Faster Pace
New Haven took off in the third quarter by taking off offensively. After every miss or make by Wayne, the Bulldogs ran. Monte Stevenson quickly was down the court and found layups in transition or his teammates for easy baskets. It all lead to a 19-4 run to take a three-point halftime lead to a 20-point lead.
2. Jabar Ray from deep
Ray had his shot going all night, but hit two back-to-back 3-pointers during the long run. The Bulldogs routinely found him open in the corner and he converted as he ended the night with 23 points as he hit five of eight 3-point attempts.
3. Wayne cooling off
In the first half, Wayne went five for seven from 3-point range. They hit the shots in almost every fashion, whether pulling up, finding the open man in the offense or in the secondary transition. It kept the Generals in the game in the first half, but was a big reason they fell so far behind in the second half. Wayne only hit three out of 20 attempts after halftime.
4. Getting to the free throw line
New Haven had 18 points come from the charity stripe off 22 free throw attempts. The Bulldogs got to the charity stripe by attacking the basket and converted. They scored 10 more points from the charity stripe than Wayne and went a perfect 15 for 15 in the second half.
New Haven didn't just pick up the pace in the second half, but also started hitting the boards. The Bulldogs limited Wayne from being able to convert on second-chance points and outrebounded the Generals by eight, including a 31-18 advantage on the defensive glass.