Jordan Burch has a future playing football in college but his basketball game isn’t bad.
The Hammond junior’s put-back with 1.6 seconds left gave the Skyhawks a 53-52 win over rival Cardinal Newman in front of a packed gymnasium Friday night.
“The big fella was a little bit down on himself because he missed some shots early in the game,” Hammond coach David Ross said. “We kept him pumped up, told him he was going to make a play and sure enough he did when it counted.”
Burch, a five-star football prospect, turned some heads last week at the Under Armour Junior Combine and is being recruited by South Carolina, Clemson and LSU among others. But the 6-foot-5 junior still loves to play basketball and delivered when the Skyhawks needed him the most.
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Cardinal Newman, the preseason favorite in SCISA 3A who already has wins over Gray Collegiate Porter-Gaud and Berkeley, led most of the game and took a 52-51 lead on Joshua Beadle’s two free throws with 20 seconds left.
After a timeout, Hammond’s Trent Green brought the ball up the court and kicked out in the corner to Josh Lipsitz, who missed a 3-pointer. But Burch was there for the rebound, took two dribbles and put it in with 1.6 seconds left.
Burch finished with eight points.
Cardinal Newman had a chance to win it Chico Carter missed an off-balanced 3-pointer at the buzzer and Hammond students rushed the court.
“We have competed with everyone. We had Westwood up 10 in the fourth quarter and couldn’t finish, we were up on Porter-Gaud in the fourth quarter and couldn’t finish,” Ross said. “This is a game where we competed for four quarters, got over the top and were able to win. That helps us from a confidence perspective that we know we can close out teams. That is going to be big for us.”
Green led Hammond with 18 and Cleo Canty had 13. Murray State signee Chico Carter led the Cardinals with 22.
In the girls’ game, Ashlyn Watkins scored 24, and Audrey Meyers had 19 in Cardinal Newman’s 76-32 in the rematch of last year’s SCISA 3A championship game.
Hammond 53, Cardinal Newman 52
H: Cleo Canty 13, Toman 8, Burch 8, Trent Green 18, Lipsitz 6. CN: Earle 3, Chico Carter 22, Tyler 8, Joshua Beadle 10, White 2, Tucker 6.
Cardinal Newman 76, Hammond 32
CN: Ashlyn Watkins 24, Audrey Meyers 19, Boyer 8, Kennedy 6, Hogan 6, Bliek 4, Dayhuff 3, Etter 3, Holbrook 3. Hammond: Lauren Scott 20, Myers 9, Evans 2, Davies 1