FISHERS — Luke Fischer wasn’t about to have his first travel tournament in Indiana as an IU commitment end with another second-place finish and rest of the members of the Wisconsin Swing weren’t too keen on taking home another runner-up trophy either.
So after falling behind by double-digits early in the first half, the Swing rallied back to defeat the Michigan Mustangs 84-77 in the 17 and under championship game of the Adidas Spring Classic in Fishers Fieldhouse. Fischer finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks in the game after being largely invisible in the first half.
The Swing had taken second place in each of their first two tournaments of the spring travel season. After knocking off the tournament favorite Eric Gordon All-Stars in the semifinals, they had no desire to do it again.
“I told the guys we beat EG and that’s a nice win,” Swing coach Justin Litscher said. “I said, ‘Alright, it’s over, because I’m sick of taking second.’ We’ve played and beat some really good teams and not won a championship. We’ve got two seconds and a first now. It’s nice to just finish one out.”
A big part of the reason why was the Swing found a way to get the ball to Fischer, who scored just four points in the win over the Eric Gordon All-Stars. He had just one point at half time on a free throw and had rarely even touched the ball.
In the second-half, however, Fischer got in a flow with guard Bronson Koening with the pick n’ roll and a high-low game that sprung Fischer open for easy layups. Koening, the No. 70 player in the 2013 class and a Wisconsin commitment, had 30 points in the game.
“A lot of that’s Bronson and it’s Luke sealing,” Litscher said. “We talked about, ‘Just run the floor and seal high-low right away,’ and Bronson did a really nice job of finding him. Our guys know Luke needs to touch the ball a lot and especially in tough games. We did a good job in transition of just getting that high-low right away, because then the defense doesn’t have as much time to react.”
Said Fischer: “I think we just started attacking the basket more. We found open spots. We made better passes, and that helped us come out with the win.”
Throughout the weekend, Fischer improved at getting post position and demanding the basketball. He scored 24 points in his first game and 32 points in a win over Illinois Old School in the quarterfinals on Saturday evening.
“I thought I was more aggressive and just attacked the basket more,” Fischer said.
Said Litscher: “We often speak about, ‘We need to get Luke a touch right away.’ We start off every game trying to get Luke a touch. Whether that happens or not, but we try to make it happen.”
It didn’t happen that much in the Swing’s win over the Eric Gordon All-Stars. Both teams took most of their shots from the perimeter with Koening leading the charge for the Swing and Michigan commitment Zak Irvin doing the same for Eric Gordon. While Fischer scored just four points, Warren Central forward and Indiana commitment Devin Davis had just nine points, and neither saw the ball much.
Still, their first matchup against each other gave each a reason to be happy they were playing together.
“He’s a big guy,” Davis said of Fischer. “I thought our bigs played good defense against him and he helped out a lot but he’s a really good player.”
Said Fischer of Davis: “Both of us kind of struggled that game. It wasn’t both of our bests, but I’m glad he’ll be on my team in a couple of years. I think he’s a good player. I can’t wait.”
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