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Lanesville's Joe Ferree and South Central's Nick Wemes try to chase down a loose ball. The Eagles went on to win 75-55, led by 21 points from Ferree. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

Eagles back on track vs. rival SC


January 15, 2014 | 10:21 AM

Seeking for the perfect bounce back, the Lanesville boys' basketball team got it against rival South Central Friday night in Elizabeth.

Forcing 24 turnovers, Lanesville turned up the pressure on its Southern Athletic Conference and Harrison County rival, creating 32 points off the miscues to defeat South Central, 75-55.

"We really needed this win after last week," Lanesville senior Ryan Fulkerson said. "It's a conference game and a sectional team, so it was really important. We got back to working hard in practice."

Through 1-1/2 quarters, the pace was hot between the long-time rivals.

Lanesville held a slim, 32-31 lead midway through the second quarter before turning up the defense. The Eagles held South Central scoreless the rest of the half while ripping off 12 straight points.

Jason Harmon started the run with a field goal, followed by Fulkerson scoring on a put-back. Joe Ferree got in the act with a 3-pointer, while Harmon ended the half with a bucket as the buzzer was less than a second from blaring.

The result of the big second quarter, featuring seven Rebels turnovers, was a 44-31 halftime lead for the Eagles.

"After last week, it was disappointing, but we came back strong," Lanesville coach Mikel Miller said. "What I preached this week to the players was competing every possession in the game like it's the last. I thought we did that more consistent tonight. We are not where we need to be to compete for a sectional title yet, but it's an improvement from last weekend."

Last week, a tight loss to SAC leader Borden, followed by a defeat against Austin, snapped a five-game Lanesville winning streak. The victory over South Central helped the Eagles get back on track. And, they handily won Saturday at Medora.

In the second half against South Central, the Eagles slowed the pace some while limiting South Central to four points in the frame. Joe Ferree knocked down another triple, while Micah Lane and Matthew Husband scored field goals to give the visitors a 53-35 edge after three periods.

"This team struggles to score," South Central coach Ryan Crick said. "Lanesville has scored in the 80s twice and the 70s a few other times now. That pace they had going, they were ready to score 90 points. Last Saturday (versus Trinity Lutheran), we won a game because of defense. We turned on our defense and scored off of turnovers. Tonight, Lanesville had 32 points off turnovers. That's the game."

Pressuring South Central into seven additional turnovers in the final quarter allowed the rout to continue. Lanesville led 64-40 when Husband picked a pass for a lay-in. From there, the Rebels stroked the ball from the outside with Zach Goodwin, Alex Goforth and Trevor Quire hitting triples.

The span of 3-pointers was negated by Lanesville free throws.

For the game, the Eagles had 12 steals, led by four from Joe Ferree and three each from Husband and Fulkerson.

"Our objective was to pressure them because we didn't think they could handle it," Fulkerson said. "We got into our 2-2-1, and it worked out."

"We backed up with our press a little bit then tried to pinch more in the middle," Miller said. "We were able to get a 10-second call, and they threw it away a handful of times. We were more soft, then, every once in a while, picked up the heat to bring it up more. It worked for us to create some easy baskets."

Joe Ferree, spirited at times, led Lanesville in scoring with 21 points, hitting three long-range shots.

"He realized in the locker room when he told me he was really tired a minute ago about going harder," Miller said. "You should when you play that hard. Joe's hard work paid off, and guys feed off him."

The first 1-1/2 minutes of the game was hot back and forth. Lanesville opened with a 9-2 run, paced by scoring in transition by Fulkerson and Joe Ferree.

Out of a time-out, South Central fought back with an impressive 14-0 spurt. Ben Cunningham caught fire from the right wing, hitting three treys. He also had a bucket inside, while Goodwin added a steal and dish to Nick Wemes for two.

The improved play by the Rebels gave them a 16-9 lead on a night they honored the program's first boys' basketball sectional champions from 1974.

"First quarter, Lanesville hit us hard then, after the time out, we got after them," Crick said. "Ben hits three 3s, and we're feeling it. When they started to trap us, it started to fall apart."

Despite the seven-point deficit, Lanesville erased it fairly quickly. Jack Ferree had a string of buckets, while Husband came off the bench to bury back-to-back threes. Making it three triples in a row, Jack Ferree gave the Eagles the lead for good with one.

"Matthew, when he hit that first three, his eyes glowed," Miller said. "It looked like the weight of the world came off and (he) played more like himself tonight."

Lanesville, ending the opening quarter on a 12-0 scurry, prompted better play the rest of the way.

"Both teams were scoring at will in the first quarter, and I'm not sure either was playing much defense," Miller said. "From the fans' perspective, it was probably pretty fun to watch."

For South Central, Crick said the team needs to continue to work at protecting the ball better.

"We had 15 turnovers between our three guards and 24 total," he said. "Coach Miller did a good job preparing for us. He saw we couldn't handle pressure, and they hit us with it. They pressured us so much, I'm not sure if we ran our offense once tonight."

Husband scored 13 points for Lanesville, while Jack Ferree had 11. Harmon and Fulkerson tallied nine points apiece.

Cunningham paced South Central with 16 points and six rebounds. Goodwin chipped in 15 points, five rebounds and four steals.

Up next for Lanesville will be hosting Orleans on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

The Rebels, meanwhile, have some time off before returning to action Friday, Jan. 24, at Crothersville.

Lanesville 25 19 9 22 – 75

South Central 20 11 4 20 – 55

Lanesville (8-4, 2-1 SAC) – Jo. Ferree 21, Husband 13, Ja. Ferree 11, Fulkerson 9, Harmon 9, Lane 6, T. Stilger 2, Frazier 2, A. Stilger 2.

South Central (2-10, 0-2) – Cunningham 16, Goodwin 13, Wemes 9, Quire 6, Sullivan 5, Veith 3, Goforth 3.

3-point goals – Lanesville 6 (Jo. Ferree 3, Husband 2, Ja. Ferree); South Central 9 (Cunningham 3, Goodwin 2, Quire 2, Veith, Goforth).

Twitter: @CoryDemSports

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