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South Central's Victoria Sallee lunges toward a loose ball while Lanesville's Emma Zeller and Lady Rebel Kelsey Miller scuttle on the floor for possession last Wednesday. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

Lady Rebs go up early, cruise


January 15, 2014 | 10:22 AM

At times during the season, the South Central and Lanesville girls' basketball teams have struggled to find their respective shooting forms.

Both teams average about 40 points per game (South Central a shade over and Lanesville a shade under), but the South Central Lady Rebels used improved defensive play to defeat their Southern Athletic Conference foe 43-30 last Tuesday in Lanesville.

"It's the second game in a row where we have shot halfway decent," South Central coach Randall Schoen said. "Hopefully, it is something that is coming around a little more for us. We really have struggled with our shots, but I have seen in practice the girls are starting to shoot with more confidence than what we have. It's a good time of year for that to come around."

Opening possessions for both teams were encouraging. The Lady Rebels used an assist by Kelsey Miller to outside shooter Sabra Walker for a 3-pointer. Lanesville responded with a set that resulted in Erica Daly putting in a bucket.

From there, the Lanesville offense went cold while South Central found rhythm the rest of the half.

Jasmine Nalley caught a swing pass from Miller to knock down a right-wing triple for the Lady Rebels. The shot started a 7-0 run. Miller added a pair of free throws, while Maddie O'Connor hit a field goal.

Lanesville ended its scoring drought with freebies by Jessica DeWeese. Her effort was offset by O'Connor nailing a trey.

South Central would lead 13-6 after the opening quarter. The Lady Rebels outscored Lanesville 16-5 in the second period to lead 30-11 at half.

"We've struggled offensively all year," Lanesville coach Kevin Smith said. "We can't find that one person to score consistently. Emma Zeller leads us in scoring at about seven points per game, and Annie Parsons averages 6.6. We struggled to find someone to really score a lot of points for us."

Walker started the second quarter the same way she started the game, with a 3-pointer. She hit another later in the frame to reach her nine points for the game. Miller, who finished with 11 points along with Nalley, had five points in the second quarter. Her effort to put the Lady Rebels up 28-9 started with fellow senior Victoria Sallee picking off a pass to start a fast break.

For the opening half, Lanesville turned the ball over 12 times.

"We pressed more tonight, and I think we can very well, but our team doesn't buy into it," Schoen said. "We wind up switching defenses quite a bit just to keep offenses thrown off just a little bit."

"You can only play a certain amount of defense for so long before it starts going to their heads," Smith said. "We didn't hit shots and we thought too much about scoring. They went on the long run, and we started to give up threes. We were going to give Nalley the three, and, give her credit, she knocked them down."

The third quarter was the most evenly played between the rivals.

South Central grew its lead to the widest of the night at 36-12 when Chelsey Kaiser scored on a drive and dish by O'Connor.

Emily Davis was able to kick-start the Lady Eagles' offense with a field goal midway through the third quarter. Her jumper helped Lanesville end the frame on an 8-5 run. Hannah Walther had two field goals, while Daly chipped in another.

South Central held a 20-point margin after three quarters while the fourth saw limited points from both clubs. Lanesville outscored South Central 9-2 in the final eight minutes with Elise Lawson, Taylor Brown, Parsons and DeWeese scoring.

Parsons led Lanesville in scoring with eight points and also pulled down seven rebounds.

"We didn't get to the foul line enough," Smith said of his team that was three of seven at the charity stripe. "We have to score some points at the free-throw line, and we didn't do enough tonight."

Smith said the players, despite dropping to 2-9, are putting in the effort.

Lanesville was unable to break a string of losses to its rival dating back to its last win versus South Central in 2004.

"These girls are working really hard," Smith said. "We just struggle to find someone to score. I think we can play with South, but for a 1-1/2 quarters we lost it a little bit."

South Central made it two wins in a row, defeating Crawford County the next day 48-39, to improve to 5-9.

It's a string of solid play Schoen has been looking for despite a tough early season schedule.

"We played well at Switzerland County," Schoen said. "We were up 10 points in the fourth quarter and got beat in overtime. We turned the ball over too much, but we led them at the start until the end. The girls are playing more relaxed overall."

Even though the Lady Rebels are 13 games into the season, the victory over Lanesville was the first in SAC play due to weather postponing earlier scheduled contests.

"I feel we can compete in our conference, and we can't let games like this one get away from us," Schoen said. "I would rather play than be off, so we'll have several games in weeks to come."

The Lady Rebels are slated to host Crothersville on Saturday (1:30 p.m. tip) followed by fellow SAC foe Henryville on Monday. Borden (3-0), Henryville (3-0) and South Central (1-0) are undefeated in league play thus far.

Lanesville scored a 60-33 win at Medora Saturday to win its third game of the year. The Lady Eagles have a pair of road games to end the week: tomorrow (Thursday) at Rock Creek Academy (7:30 p.m.) and Saturday at Shawe Memorial (1:30 p.m.). They will return home Tuesday to host Orleans at 7:30 p.m.

South Central 13 16 12 2 – 43

Lanesville 6 5 10 9 – 30

South Central (4-9, 1-0 SAC) – Nalley 11, Miller 11, Walker 9, O'Connor 7, Milliner 3, Kaiser 2.

Lanesville (2-9, 0-3) – Parsons 8, DeWeese 5, Walther 4, Daly 4, Hall 3, Davis 2, Brown 2, Lawson 2.

3-point goals – South Central 7 (Walker 3, Nalley 2, O'Connor, Milliner); Lanesville 2 (DeWeese, Hall).

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