Benter scores 16 as Indiana All-Stars win game over Kentucky at Gainbridge


INDIANAPOLIS — Jack Benter says he has a lot of good memories after playing with the Indiana basketball all-stars last week.

The 2024 graduate of Brownstown Central High School helped the Indiana team win two of three games.

“It was really fun,” Benter said of the experience. “We could space the floor, and had guys who could make plays, and get the ball to (Flory Bigunda), and on defense you had to guard your guy, so it’s a lot of fun playing with these high level players.

“It is a week I’ll always remember.”

Benter will attend Purdue University on a basketball scholarship in the fall. One of his teammates will be Aaron Fine, from Noblesville, who was also an Indiana All-star and had two points, two assists and two rebounds Saturday night.

Benter said, “We’ve been talking quite a bit the past month or so. He finds me a lot. Hopefully, you see that a lot at Purdue as well.”

On Saturday night, Benter shot 6-for-10 from the floor, including 2-for-4 on 3-pointers, and 2-for-4 in free throws, plus he had four rebounds and four assists in helping Indiana beat Kentucky 92-89 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. He was on the court for 35 minutes and 29 seconds.

Benter scored what may have been the shot of the night just before halftime. With the clock running down, Benter retrieved a loose ball near half-court and off-balance shot it and like many of his shots, it hit nothing but net and gave Indiana a 50-31 lead at the half.

He went on a scoring tear late in the first half with eight points and credited his teammates for setting him up.

“I got my first bucket and I just kept going at ‘em. They kept giving me lane. Flory is a big presence inside so they had to double him so I had open lanes to go score. When I hit one or two, the goal just kept getting bigger.”

Bigunda, Mr. Basketball from Kokomo, scored 31 points and had 17 rebounds Saturday night. The 6-foot-9 Bigunda will play his college basketball at Kansas.

Benter had a dunk with 4:40 left in the game that put Indiana up 81-69 at the time.

Benter said, “It was a good one. It was a great pass.”

Benter scored 16 points, and had six rebounds and 3 assists, in 29 minutes, 44 seconds of playing time Friday when Indiana lost 103-82 to Kentucky at Lexington, Ky.

Indiana held a 49-43 lead at halftime.

Benter said he felt Indiana played better Saturday night than it did Friday.

“I thought we played much better tonight. I thought we played more of a complete game tonight. (Friday) we played like 25 minutes well, and the other 15 minutes we didn’t play so well. Tonight I thought we played more of a complete game.”

He said the pace of the all-star games are faster than what he experienced in high school.

“There were just better players out there, bigger, stronger players. I don’t think the physicality has changed that much, the speed of the game has changed.”

On Wednesday, Benter scored 19 points, including 5 3-pointers, to help the all-stars beat the Indiana junior all-stars 104-96 at Kokomo.

Indiana boys all-stars head coach John Peckingbaugh of Kokomo praised Benter in a post-game news conference.

“I had heard about Jack. I didn’t see him much but I watched some film on him getting ready for the Hall of Fame tournament. I didn’t realize how special of a player he is. I got to see him up close, and personnel in practice and in games, his intelligence, his IQ. He can make every kind of play.

“He kind of provides your team with a calming presence when you need a bucket.”

Benter was injured and did not get to play in the Hall of Fame Tournament, and Brownstown did not face Kokomo in the tournament.

Peckinpaugh said the coaches called plays to get Benter involved in the action, and “usually it worked out for us.”

Benter summed it up, “It was a great experience. It shows you what you need to work on and what you do well.

“They’re all great guys. We had a great time hanging out in the dorm, and even before games and stuff like that. It was a lot of fun to play with these high-level players and see them make plays.”

Among Benter’s all-star teammates were K.J. Windham, from Ben Davis who is going to Northwestern, Trey Buchanan, from Westfield who is going to Iowa, and Jack Miller, from Scottsburg who is going to Hanover.

No posts to display