First round match-up of the Hall of Fame Classic featured a great game between Washington and Center Grove. Washington has Indiana University bound senior Cody Zeller while Center Grove has two Division I signees in Andrew Smeathers and Jonny Marlin.
The game began with both teams shooting very well. Zeller actually started off the game with a 3-pointer near the top of the key. Fellow Washington senior Kurtis Anthony had a couple of 3's early as well. Not to be out done, Marlin hit a few shots in the lane while Smeathers had a dunk and a 3 in the quarter. Washington led 26-17 after the first quarter to show how well each team shot the ball.
Zeller started the game with 12 points and 4 rebounds in the first period. Then Center Grove had Mark Kwiatkowski face guard Zeller while playing a 2-2 zone. This was very effective has Zeller had to use a lot of energy to even touch the ball. He did get loose a few times, but it was very rare for Zeller to touch the ball. Marlin continued to play well on both ends. Junior Joe Reed did a nice job of sealing Zeller on the offensive end and was able to get a couple of easy looks. Center Grove cut the Washington lead to 38-36 at the half.
In the third quarter the defense on Zeller continued to make the Washington offense stall. Without the ability to get Zeller the ball, the Washington offense came to a stand still...literally. Smeathers, who picked up 3 first half fouls, came out ready to shoot in the second half. He hit a deep 3 and then attacked the rim for a 2-handed dunk although he was unable to complete the play, he recovered and got his own rebound resulting in a Washington foul on the putback. Center Grove took a 52-48 lead into the final quarter.