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SC takes it to Medora, 67-41

SC takes it to Medora, 67-41
SC takes it to Medora, 67-41
South Central seniors Brad Mercer, left, and Brent Wilkerson (12) surround Steven Watson of Medora in the first half of Saturday night's homecoming game in Elizabeth. (Photo by Alan Stewart)

South Central head coach Greg Robinson should bottle whatever it was he said at halftime at Saturday night’s homecoming game against Medora and use it as tonic for the rest of the basketball season.
With 6-6 senior big man Ben Hanus on the sidelines indefinitely (ankle injury), the Rebels still led at the intermission, 27-18, but had scored just eight points in the second period. That, and poor defense, sent Robinson’s blood pressure through the roof.
‘We weren’t playing the position that we needed to play defensively and we were fouling them entirely too much. We didn’t need to foul. All we wanted to do was keep ourselves between the ball and the basket and keep our hands up,’ Robinson said.
‘Given the circumstances, it wasn’t surprising. We only had one and a half days of practice after we lost Ben to get ready for this game. A lot of times when you lose someone, you have to move people around, and it takes time to get adjusted.
‘It just took us a while to get used to the situation we were in. I was really happy with our second-half effort. It was a good way to get things started in what’s probably going to be a new lineup.’
The hosts outscored the Hornets, 23-10, in the third period and never looked back in a 67-41 blowout.
With the win, the Rebels improved to 8-5 heading into Friday’s Southern Athletic Conference matchup at Crothersville (6-4). South has won 31 straight league games and hasn’t lost to Crothersville since Feb. 11, 1994. Jim Stewart, former coach at Corydon Central, is in his first year at the helm of the Tigers.
‘They’ve played some people pretty hard,’ Robinson said of Crothersville. ‘And we still have yet to find any consistency, so it should be a good matchup for us.’
In Saturday’s affair, senior Brad Brown led a balanced Rebel attack with 17 points, followed by 12 points and nine rebounds from classmate Deavon Wiseman, and 10 points from Derek Kaiser. Chad McRae and Brad Mercer chipped in eight points apiece. Mercer had 13 rebounds and McRae 10.
South owned the glass, 46-37.
‘That’s an area that I was really pleased with, given the fact that we’d lost our best rebounder to an injury. I thought we did a really good job of getting to the boards,’ Robinson said.
The Rebels opened the game on a 14-4 run, but Medora’s Shane Weddell countered with his only points of the game (four) to bring the Hornets back to within single digits, 19-10, heading into the second period.
Medora continued its rally with a deuce by Trent Sutton and two frees by Craig Reynolds to bring on a time-out by Robinson. Chad McRae knocked down two frees before first-year coach Paul White (who took over for Stewart at Medora) was hit with a technical foul for arguing with one of the officials. Brown sank the two ensuing free throws to give South a 23-14 advantage. Weddell had a basket inside, with Josh McRae hitting a jumper for his club’s first field goal in almost six minutes. Medora continued to keep the contest a three-possession game to the half, 27-18.
The Rebels opened the third quarter on a 10-2 run and held the Hornets to just one field goal in the final three minutes of the period to hold a 50-28 lead after three. South led by as many as 29 in the fourth quarter period and coasted to the victory.
‘Now, at least confidence-wise, we know we can compete and play like we’re supposed to without (Hanus). We were a little hesitant early on with our confidence, and we got after it in the second half,’ Robinson said.
‘We don’t know how long Ben’s going to be out, so we have to be prepared for the long haul. He’s getting his ankle looked at on Thursday, and right now we have to prepare for several big conference games ahead.’
South was just 22 of 67 on field goals, including six of 13 three-point tries. The Rebels were 17 of 23 from the foul stripe, including Wiseman’s 8-10 effort.
The Hornets were held to 11 of 46 shooting (23 percent) and were shut out from beyond the arc, clanking all 13 attempts. Medora did a good job of getting to the line, however, hitting 19 of 28.
‘We can’t foul jump shooters. Medora shot 28 free throws. There’s no reason for that, and you just don’t do it,’ Robinson said. ‘You want them to play hard. We came out and played aggressive in the second half, but we were smarter about what we were doing.’
Steven Watson was the pace setter for Medora, finishing with 15 points on the night. Reynolds was the only other player in double-digits with 11 points. Sutton had eight.