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Opening tussle goes Cougars’ way, 69-54

One of the main points of South Central’s scouting report on North Harrison was to not foul Cougar senior Troy Eveslage.
Apparently someone missed the memo.
Eveslage hit his first three shots of the game, all from three-point land. In the second half, South held the guard to just one field goal, but Eveslage got to the free throw line 16 times and dropped home all 16 shots. He finished with a game-high 27 points in the Cougars’ 69-54 season-opening victory over the Rebels last night in Elizabeth.
Coupled with 18 points by junior center Josh Kidd, 12 by Zach Janes and nine by Clayton Nix, the Cougars bested South for the fourth straight year.
North Harrison held an 11-point lead, 27-16, in the second period before the Rebels made a charge.
The spurt was sparked by Cody Jobe, who had seven points over the final 2:08 to bring South even with the Cougars. A pair of free throws by Chad McRae ‘ which proved to be his only points of the half ‘ and a deuce by James Crosier helped knot the score at 27-27.
Then Janes had a pair of free throws to give his club a two-point lead at the intermission.
‘We kind of got on Chad to keep his head up in the second half,’ South Central coach Greg Robinson said. ‘We preach that each possession is its own game and he responded in the second half for us. He’s a load when he wants to be.’
McRae scored 13 of his team-high 23 points in the third quarter, where South was able to rally and take a 40-38 lead with 2:56 showing.
That’s when things took a turn for the worse for the Rebels.
Eveslage was fouled, and on the same play South Central was whistled for a technical.
Eveslage drained all four free throws to put North Harrison back on top for good.
‘That was fortunate for us and unfortunate for South Central,’ Cougars coach Rick Snodgrass said. ‘I really thought that was the ball game.’
Over the final two minutes of the third period, North outscored the hosts, 6-2, and held a 48-44 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
A three by McRae trimmed the deficit to one, however the Cougars quieted the comeback with a 6-0 spurt. From there, the final score was academic.
‘Every single one of my guys had a great night,’ Snodgrass said. ‘This was a team effort. I’ve always said basketball is a game of runs and South had theirs and we had ours at the end.’
The Cougars went 19-53 on field goals, including 6-21 on threes, and sank 25 of 30 charity tosses.
South Central, which also got nine points from Jobe and seven from Kyle Cook, was 20-53 from the field, 4-16 on threes and hit 10 of 16 free throws.
North won the battle of the glass, 41-37. In the turnover department, South committed 15; North had 12.
The Rebels travel to Crawford on Saturday while North is off until next Friday’s tilt against rival Corydon.