Marion County tournament: Unbeaten Warren Central ends Pike's county reign

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The Warren Central Warriors beat the Pike Red Devils 43-37 in the Marion County tournament. Clark Wade/IndyStar

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Warren Central Warriors forward Jesse Bingham (11) shoots during first half action of Marion County quarterfinals between the Pike Red Devils and the Warren Central Warriors at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Warren Central clinched the win, 43-37.(Photo: Jenna Watson/IndyStar)Buy Photo

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INDIANAPOLIS – There will be a new champion in the Marion County tournament this year.

Warren Central ended Pike’s three-year run in the county tourney with sterling defensive effort and just enough clutch offensive plays in a 43-37 comeback win in the quarterfinal round Wednesday night at Pike.

“We’re trying to do something Warren hasn’t done in a long time,” said Jesse Bingham, who led Warren Central with 14 points Wednesday.

The Class 4A third-ranked Warriors (12-0) are chasing the program’s first Marion County championship since the 1999-2000 season. Warren Central will play Lawrence North — — in a semifinal game at 6 p.m. Friday night at Southport. Roncalli and Ben Davis will play in the second semifinal.

Warren Central made it to the semifinals last year before falling to North Central, 69-65.

“It’s kind of redemption for the seniors last year,” Bingham said. “We’re trying to get that win for us and them.”

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Pike Red Devils Darian Porch (23) guards Warren Central Warriors David Bell (22) during first half action of Marion County quarterfinals between the Pike Red Devils and the Warren Central Warriors at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Warren Central clinched the win, 43-37. (Photo: Jenna Watson/IndyStar)

Warren Central had to get through a Pike team that it had defeated 54-46 on Dec. 28 in the Noblesville tournament. The Red Devils (5-7) led from the final minute of the first quarter until the middle of the fourth quarter, pushing the advantage to 34-29 on a basket by Chris Robinson with 6:25 to go.

But Pike went cold from there, failing to score for the next six-plus minutes. Bingham drilled a 3-pointer with a little more than four minutes left and Antwaan Cushingberry followed with a three-point play with 3:25 left to give Warren Central a 37-34 lead.

“Jesse has gotten way better on his jump shot and he proved it tonight,” Cushingberry said. “As a team, we just kept fighting and Jesse’s 3 was a big part of the game.”

Pike had several chances to draw closer or potentially tie the score, but was unable to connect. Ditwan Gary’s 3-pointer with 20.2 seconds left cut Warren Central’s lead to 39-37. But Cushingberry went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in the final seconds to seal the win.

“(Warren Central) did a nice job ramping up its defense in the last quarter and got us to play a little faster than what we did through the game,” Pike coach Bill Zych said. “We got into our half-court sets and missed some tough shots. When you miss free throws and turn the ball over at the end and play the best teams in the state like we do, we just can’t get over the hump. I believe in these guys, though.”

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Buy Photo The Warren Central Warriors leave the court after clinching the Marion County quarterfinals win, 43-37, against the Pike Red Devils at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018.  Jenna Watson/IndyStarBuy Photo Warren Central Warriors fans react as the Warriors clinched the Marion County quarterfinals win, 43-37, against the Pike Red Devils and the Warren Central Warriors at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018.   Jenna Watson/IndyStarBuy Photo Warren Central Warriors forward Jesse Bingham (11) and Pike Red Devils guard Hunter White (3) go after the ball during second half action of Marion County quarterfinals between the Pike Red Devils and the Warren Central Warriors at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Warren Central clinched the win, 43-37.   Jenna Watson/IndyStarBuy Photo Pike Red Devils fans react late in close second half action of Marion County quarterfinals between the Pike Red Devils and the Warren Central Warriors at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Warren Central clinched the win, 43-37.   Jenna Watson/IndyStarBuy Photo Pike Red Devils Darian Porch (23) puts in a layup late in second half action of Marion County quarterfinals between the Pike Red Devils and the Warren Central Warriors at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Warren Central clinched the win, 43-37.   Jenna Watson/IndyStarBuy Photo Warren Central Warriors guard Antwaan Cushinberry (4) gets rid of the ball as he is surrounded by Pike Red Devils defenders during second half action of Marion County quarterfinals between the Pike Red Devils and the Warren Central Warriors at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Warren Central clinched the win, 43-37.   Jenna Watson/IndyStarBuy Photo Pike Red Devils guard Ditwan Gary (12) drives toward the basket during second half action of Marion County quarterfinals between the Pike Red Devils and the Warren Central Warriors at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Warren Central clinched the win, 43-37.   Jenna Watson/IndyStarBuy Photo Warren Central Warriors Jakobie Robinson (23) reaches around to try to swipe the ball from Pike Red Devils guard Hunter White (3) during second half action of Marion County quarterfinals between the Pike Red Devils and the Warren Central Warriors at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Warren Central clinched the win, 43-37.   Jenna Watson/IndyStarBuy Photo Warren Central Warriors Jakobie Robinson (23) guards Pike Red Devils Chris Robinson (32) during second half action of Marion County quarterfinals between the Pike Red Devils and the Warren Central Warriors at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Warren Central clinched the win, 43-37.   Jenna Watson/IndyStarBuy Photo Pike Red Devils guard Ditwan Gary (12) drives toward the basket during second half action of Marion County quarterfinals between the Pike Red Devils and the Warren Central Warriors at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Warren Central clinched the win, 43-37.   Jenna Watson/IndyStarBuy Photo Warren Central Warriors David Bell (22) takes a shot mid-fall, past Pike Red Devils Darian Porch (23) and Pike Red Devils guard Hunter White (3), during second half action of Marion County quarterfinals between the Pike Red Devils and the Warren Central Warriors at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Warren Central clinched the win, 43-37.   Jenna Watson/IndyStarBuy Photo Warren Central Warriors Dean Tate (10) works a possession during first half action of Marion County quarterfinals between the Pike Red Devils and the Warren Central Warriors at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Warren Central clinched the win, 43-37.   Jenna Watson/IndyStarBuy Photo Warren Central Warriors Jakobie Robinson (23) shoots during first half action of Marion County quarterfinals between the Pike Red Devils and the Warren Central Warriors at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Warren Central clinched the win, 43-37.   Jenna Watson/IndyStarBuy Photo Warren Central Warriors forward Jesse Bingham (11) shoots during first half action of Marion County quarterfinals between the Pike Red Devils and the Warren Central Warriors at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Warren Central clinched the win, 43-37.   Jenna Watson/IndyStarBuy Photo Pike Red Devils Brandon Vernon (34) reacts after being called for a foul on Warren Central Warriors David Bell (22) during first half action of Marion County quarterfinals between the Pike Red Devils and the Warren Central Warriors at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Warren Central clinched the win, 43-37.   Jenna Watson/IndyStarBuy Photo Warren Central Warriors David Bell (22) shoots a layup for the Warriors during first half action of Marion County quarterfinals between the Pike Red Devils and the Warren Central Warriors at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Warren Central clinched the win, 43-37.   Jenna Watson/IndyStarBuy Photo Pike Red Devils Darian Porch (23) tries to block a shot by Warren Central Warriors forward Jesse Bingham (11) during first half action of Marion County quarterfinals between the Pike Red Devils and the Warren Central Warriors at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Warren Central clinched the win, 43-37.   Jenna Watson/IndyStarBuy Photo Warren Central Warriors David Bell (22) guards Pike Red Devils guard Hunter White (3) who works a possession during first half action of Marion County quarterfinals between the Pike Red Devils and the Warren Central Warriors at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Warren Central clinched the win, 43-37.   Jenna Watson/IndyStarBuy Photo Pike Red Devils Darian Porch (23) guards Warren Central Warriors David Bell (22) during first half action of Marion County quarterfinals between the Pike Red Devils and the Warren Central Warriors at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Warren Central clinched the win, 43-37.   Jenna Watson/IndyStarBuy Photo Warren Central Warriors Jakobie Robinson (23) reaches around as Pike Red Devils guard Hunter White (3) takes a shot, in a play that led to a foul on Robinson, during first half action of Marion County quarterfinals between the Pike Red Devils and the Warren Central Warriors at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Warren Central clinched the win, 43-37.   Jenna Watson/IndyStarBuy Photo Pike Red Devils guard Hunter White (3) guards Warren Central Warriors Joe Rush (21) as he works a possession during first half action of Marion County quarterfinals between the Pike Red Devils and the Warren Central Warriors at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Warren Central clinched the win, 43-37.   Jenna Watson/IndyStarBuy Photo Warren Central Warriors forward Jesse Bingham (11) drives past Pike Red Devils Darian Porch (23) toward the basket during first half action of Marion County quarterfinals between the Pike Red Devils and the Warren Central Warriors at Pike High School, Indianapolis, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Warren Central clinched the win, 43-37.   Jenna Watson/IndyStar

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Zych, who has won four Marion County titles at Pike overall since taking over in 2010-11, talked with his team before the tournament about the program’s history of success in the tourney.

“We had won 13 games in a row in the Marion County tournament,” Zych said. “But I guess that was an unlucky number tonight. Hopefully by the time March comes around, we can be a little bit more solid at the end of games.”

Robinson and 6-5 senior Steve Miller each had 10 points to lead Pike. David Bell added 11 points for Warren Central and Jakobie Robinson had 15 rebounds for the Warriors.

Warren Central could potentially see Lawrence Central, Pike, Lawrence North and Ben Davis this week. But nothing so far has seemed to bother the Warriors.

“We talked after the game that everybody made a play to help us win,” Warren Central coach Criss Beyers said. “Whether it was getting a stop, a rebound, making that extra pass or whatever, everybody made a play to get us there. It wasn’t pretty. But the whole objective here is to advance.”

Call Star reporter Kyle Neddenriep at .

WARREN CENTRAL 43, PIKE 37

Warren Central     9          9          9          16   —  43
Pike                      10        12        10        5     —  37

Warren Central (12-0) — Bingham 5 3-3 14, Robinson 1 2-5 4, Cushingberry 1 5-5 7, Tate 3 0-0 7, Bell 4 3-5 11 . Totals: 14 13-18 43.

Pike (5-7) — White 2 1-4 5, Gary 2 2-2 8, Miller 5 0-0 10, Robinson 4 1-2 10, Porch 2 0-0 4. Totals: 15 4-8 37.

3-point goals: Warren Central 2 (Bingham, Tate), Pike 3 (Gary 2, Robinson).

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