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Pack pounds SC, 73-45

Pack pounds SC, 73-45
Pack pounds SC, 73-45
South Central's James Crosier, bottom, dives for a loose ball in the paint against R.T. Elliott (15) and Wyatt Sillings of Crawford County in Saturday night's varsity basketball game in Elizabeth. (Photo by Alan Stewart)

After his team suffered a disappointing, nine-point setback against North Harrison last Tuesday night in Ramsey, South Central coach Greg Robinson hoped his club could get on track on Saturday at home against an athletic Crawford County squad.
Instead, the Rebels were derailed, dejected and soundly defeated, 73-45.
It was South’s worst loss to the Wolfpack since a 27-point decision (61-34) in a 1993-1994 meeting.
Crawford County owns the all-time series with a mark of 19-7.
The Wolfpack (1-0) started its season and the game by hitting its first three shots. All were from three-point range and a direct result of sharp, quick passes around the arc or on zippy passes from the post.
The flurry propelled the visitors to a 9-2 lead.
After a deuce inside by South’s Dustin Hornickel, Crawford exploded with an 11-0 run for a 20-4 advantage with 2:36 left in the first period.
The Wolfpack led by 15 at the first stop, 24-9, thanks in large part to junior guard Chris Broughton’s 10 points and two triples.
Broughton finished the night with 21 points.
‘Our kids really got after the ball and were real unselfish the first quarter,’ Crawford coach Otis Broughton said. ‘We got a lot of open shots. We’ve got a lot of weapons, and if we get that much time to shoot, we’re going to make a good percentage.
‘We reversed the ball from the baseline all the way around to the wing once, and we took it from the inside out cross-court. We stretched the defense real well and early.’
Robinson said the early explosion by the Wolfpack meant double-trouble for his team.
‘It was big for them, but was more so for us,’ he said. ‘We’ve just got a real inexperienced team, and we didn’t handle the adversity of being down like that. It frustrated our players, and we didn’t play the way we’re capable of playing by any means. It just snowballed from there.’
The Rebels scored just nine points in the second eight minutes as Crawford doubled-up the hosts by halftime, 36-18.
The second half was an ugly affair low-lighted by poor shooting from both teams and an intentional foul by South Central.
Rebels junior Chad McRae scored seven of his team-high 18 points in the period.
‘I didn’t think we kept our composure very well at all,’ Robinson said. ‘That’s something we have to deal with, because we’ve got a lot of guys playing their first year of varsity basketball. It’s one of those things you hope you learn from.
‘We had a lot of guys getting out of position on defense. Earlier in the game, as we got behind, they started to take chances more than they needed to. They were kind of in a panic mode. Once you get one guy out of position and everybody is rotating around to cover up that one guy, you’re not going to get a block-out on someone. It made for a long night.’
After leading at the third stop, 57-30, Crawford pushed to its biggest lead midway through the final period, 72-37.
‘I thought our kids played hard the entire game,’ Coach Broughton said. ‘When we came back at halftime, I thought South Central was low on gas. We seemed to pump it up again the third quarter, but definitely the start was good for us. When you’re working hard and the team is throwing it in from everywhere, you have a chance to get them down.’
South Central hit just 15 of 32 free throws. Crawford County wasn’t any better at 14 of 23.
The Rebels, who also got 12 points from Hornickel, went 15 of 47 from the field (32 percent) and were thrashed on the boards, 58-30.
‘It was one of those nights where our frustration led to more bad play,’ Robinson said. ‘When you can play a 32-minute game and you lose the first three (minutes), if you can win the next 29, then you still have a chance to win a game. We played the rest of the way like we had two minutes to go. We were playing catchup and put a lot of pressure on ourselves to try to make those plays early.
‘It’s definitely a step backwards,’ Robinson added. ‘It’s just fortunate enough that we’ve got a long trip on the road that we ought to be able to make up for the step if we all come back and learn from our mistakes.’
After McRae and Hornickel, Brandon Eschbacher was the only other Rebel to score multiple baskets as he finished with four points.
Crawford hit 26 of 64 shots and turned the ball over 15 times while forcing 13 South Central turnovers.
All 12 players on Crawford’s bench scored. Thomas Malone scored 14 points and had 16 rebounds, with nine of those on the offensive end. Adam Newton and Lyndon Jones scored eight points apiece.
South Central will do battle on Saturday night at home against Cannelton (0-2) while Crawford County hits the hardwood again on Friday night at Floyd Central.
Action both nights begins at 6 p.m. for the junior varsity clubs, followed at about 7:40 for the big boys.

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