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South boys bottle up Cannelton

Visiting Cannelton led 14-9 in the early going against South Central, however the hosts rallied and wound up scoring a 68-56 decision in Elizabeth.
The victory ended a three-game slide for the Rebels, who were paced by the 28 points of Chad McRae.
‘(McRae) was a load inside,’ South coach Greg Robinson said. ‘We started getting him the ball in the second quarter and once we got our kids to look to where he was, he was hard to handle. We did a real nice job getting him the ball where he could score.’
McRae hit 13 of 17 field-goal attempts.
Joining McRae in the double-digit club was Jimmy Jamison, who marked seven field goals in 15 attempts ‘ three were three-pointers ‘ and a perfect 4-4 night from the line.
‘Hit three threes and shot pretty well from the field. His outside shots early stretched the defense out,’ Robinson said.
The two clubs were knotted up at nine apiece at the end of the first period, with the Bulldogs (0-4) scoring the first five points of the second frame.
The rest of the first half was all South as the club opened a six-point margin at the half, 29-23.
Cannelton got one point back by the end of the third period to trail 43-38, but the hosts outscored the Bulldogs by seven in the final eight minutes to pull out the win.
South forced Cannelton into 23 turnovers, while coughing up the ball only eight times.
‘The first part of our game was trying to stop Kyle Powers (he scored four in the first half), but Brandon James had 17 in the first half,’ Robinson said. ‘We controlled James in the second half and let Powers get 15 on us. I think we’ll continue to get better defensively as the season wears on.
‘Overall it was a definite step forward. This team is going to grow a lot through the first half of the year. We just have to learn roles and defining what we can and can’t do.’
Brandon Eschbacher scored four points, but also led the team in both rebounds (7) and assists (7), with most of the passes going in the direction of McRae.
Robinson also praised the play of Cody Jobe, who played about six minutes in the second half, but performed magnificently on the defensive side of the floor.
‘It was his first significant time in a varsity game. He was an impact player and I was happy how he played defensively, especially against Powers,’ Robinson said.
Leading the way for the Bulldogs was James with 25 points on 10 of 20 shooting from the field and 4-5 at the line. Powers came through with 19 points as well.
The Rebels return to the hardwood this Friday night in a Southern Athletic Conference matchup at Borden. The frey marks South’s final one-game weekend until late January.
‘The way our schedule is set up is pretty good for a team like this. We can spend more time teaching them and getting things in,’ Robinson said. ‘Trying to get ready for two games in one weekend is always difficult. We’ve always treated conference games as more important and this year the teams that seem to give us more problems we’ll play mostly on Fridays.
‘It’s a good learning situation to play back to back games. For this team to forget what happened the night before and play another game the next night is a good thing.’

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