|Mon, Mar 10, 2014 07:16 AM
December 31, 2013 | 09:50 AM
It may sound odd to say that it was a good thing for the South Central girls' basketball team to hold Mount Carmel (Ill.) senior Tyra Buss to 37 points; that's because it proved to be the fewest points she scored at last week's Gibson County Classic.
The Lady Rebels had a first-hand look at the Indiana University commitment and took a quarter to get used to her ability to load up on steals.
South Central's Kelsey Miller reaches in to try and swipe the ball from Mount Carmel (Ill.) guard Tyra Buss in the first half. Each led their respective teams in scoring, Buss with 37 and Miller with 17 points. At right, trying to trap Buss in the corner, were South Central's Maddison O'Connor (15) and Jasmin Nalley. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)
Besides finishing with 37 points on 13 of 28 shooting from the field, Buss tallied 12 steals, nine rebounds and six assists. The guard went on to have games of 47, 60 and 66 points for the rest of the event, eclipsing 4,000 career points along the way.
"It's a good experience to play against a player the caliber of Buss," South Central coach Randall Schoen said. "We won't see another talent like her the rest of the year."
Jumping out to a 26-4 lead, Mount Carmel had a wide margin to work with after one quarter. South Central guards Kelsey Miller and Maddie O'Connor picked up three fouls each along the way but were able to settle in after a rough first quarter.
Miller opened the second quarter with back-to-back buckets, the second coming off a steal of her own. O'Connor added a triple to give the Lady Rebels some momentum. Using another Miller steal and lay-in, South Central managed to outscore the Lady Aces 22-12 in the second quarter to trail 38-26 at the break.
The third quarter was all Buss. She scored the first six of the frame, part of a 15-0 Mount Carmel run that essentially put away the game.
"I thought Maddie, Jasmine and Kelsey did a good job on Buss," Schoen said. "We tried to face her up and double her. She's a smart player."
Miller had a strong game for the Lady Rebels, scoring 17 points to go along with four assists and four steals.
"We came down here Monday against Gibson Southern and had an embarrassing loss," Schoen said. "There was no effort or enthusiasm. We had a long talk at our shoot around before this game, and they seemed to respond to it. At halftime, we were in the game, but they got away from us a bit. All I want is the girls to work hard."
In the first game at the Classic, Gibson Southern built a wide first-half lead, 47-10, before defeating the Lady Rebels, 72-34. O'Connor led South Central in scoring with eight points, making a pair of triples.
Schoen said the most disappointing game of the week came Friday in a 59-39 loss to Evansville Reitz. Again, a huge first quarter for South Central's opponent found the Lady Rebels in a 19-8 hole after eight minutes. They weren't able to come all the way back, eventually losing 59-39.
South Central didn't leave the tournament empty handed. The Lady Rebels came away with a victory in the seventh-place game, defeating Linton-Stockton, 41-31, on Saturday.
Miller (15 points) and Nalley (11 points) led the Lady Rebels, who used an 18-6 run in the second quarter to pick up the edge for good.
"Reitz out-rebounded us 63 to 35, with 36 offensive; that is unheard of," Schoen said. "The one bright spot is we had 38 rebounds, 24 offensive, against Linton. It will be good to get back and have a week off to try and get some things worked out for the second half of the season."
The Lady Rebels dropped to 3-8 on the season and will hit the road Saturday to face Switzerland County at 7:30 p.m.
"Overall, I was not pleased with our play during the entire tournament," Schoen said. "The Mount Carmel game is the only one I felt we played with any enthusiasm at all, and that is very disturbing this time of year. We are very fortunate we finished 1-3."
The Lady Rebels will have a pair of Southern Athletic Conference games next week, hosting Henryville on Monday then visiting rival Lanesville on Tuesday.