SOUTH BEND – The senior has made a statement.
Josh McDaniel put together the finest game of his career, dropping a personal-best 32 points as Lakeland Christian Academy took care of South Bend Career Academy, 56-49, Thursday night.
After finding just two points in the first quarter, McDaniel scored 11 points in the second quarter, but LCA still trailed the Career Academy by eight, 25-17, at the half. Ayden Clark hit a pair of threes and De’Andre Coleman added another trey for the Trailblazers.
Jake Harmon turned in a huge second half for the Cougars, scoring the team’s first eight points of the frame, getting the Cougars back within four. LCA took off in the fourth quarter, rushing out to a 9-0 run and a 43-38 lead. Harmon was in the middle of it, dropping a trey and assisting on two other baskets in the frenzy.
Harmon scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half, and McDaniel capped his night by scoring 12 in the fourth, part of a 22-point LCA final frame.
Landon Twombly had just three points, but pulled down eight rebounds and had a pair of steals. Harmon had five assists and Noah Twombly recorded three steals.
Clark finished with 13 points to lead the Trailblazers and Coleman ended with 12 points. Jahleel Mason had a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds, and Chance Campbell added six points, nine rebounds and two assists.
The victory for LCA moves them to 12-11 on the season and 5-0 in the Hoosier Plains Conference and outright champions in the inaugural season of the conference. SBCA falls to 5-16 overall.
In the JV game, SBCA won 35-28. Trenton Parker had 20 points for the Cougars.
Both clubs will shift gears to the Class 1-A state tournament. SBCA will head to Culver for a matchup with the hosts on Wednesday. LCA will join the Hamilton bracket and take on Fort Wayne Smith Academy Wednesday night.