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Eagles glide to SC Holiday Tournament title

When the final horn sounded after Thursday night’s final game of the second-annual South Central Holiday Tournament, Lanesville’s boys basketball team didn’t look like a squad that had just won the championship trophy.
Instead, the ceremonial transfer of hardware seemed to be a formality for the young, purple-clad Millermen. Outside of a few hugs and handshakes for family and friends, there was little, if any, emotion shown by the players.
Lanesville went 3-0 in the round-robin tournament, opening with a 77-38 win over Austin, posting a thrilling, 48-46 overtime win over No. 9-ranked (Class 1A) Shawe Memorial and capping the event with a 62-43 victory over rival South Central.
Shawe’s loss was the team’s first of the season.
Lanesville 62, South Central 43
South showed plenty of spunk in the first nine minutes of it’s tilt against Lanesville, however the hosts couldn’t sustain the effort on either side of the ball and wound up falling by 19.
Rebels senior Chad McRae scored eight of his team-high 21 points in the opening quarter as South took a 12-10 lead.
Lanesville’s Evan Bridges hit a three to give his team its first lead of the game, but Dustin Hornickel scored inside to regain the lead for South.
Jonathon Robinson scored eight of Lanesville’s next 10 points as the visitors outscored South 21-8 in the second period to hold an 11-point lead at the half, 31-20.
The Rebels had an 8-0 spurt early in the third quarter to cut Lanesville’s lead to five, however the Eagles went on a 13-5 run the rest of the period to lead by 13 heading to the final eight minutes.
Lanesville junior guard Chris VanHoose scored a game-high 30 points, with Robinson netting 12 and Dave Bachmann notching six in the winning effort.
‘We didn’t do a very good job staying on VanHoose,’ South coach Greg Robinson said. ‘We were a step behind on the help and he got to the basket a lot more than we wanted him to.
‘Still, this is the first time this season I’ve seen a good effort for the whole game. We’re hoping to improve as the year goes and I believe this is a step in the right direction.’
The Eagles were 21 of 52 from the floor, 3-9 on threes and hit 18 of 29 foul shots. Lanesville committed only nine turnovers.
Higdon scored seven for the Rebels, who were 16 of 49 on field goals and 11-15 at the foul stripe. Two big statistics that hurt the home team were turnovers (19) and three-point shooting (0-13).
Lanesville 48, Shawe 46 (OT)
Ernie Banks’ famous quote, ‘Let’s play two,’ was meant for a baseball doubleheader, but no one at South Central’s gymnasium would have complained had Lanesville and Shawe Memorial played twice on the hardwood.
The two clubs, which are arguably front-runners for their respective sectionals and potentially opponents should they make it to the Franklin Regional, provided plenty of excitement in their marathon.
The Eagles (8-1) led by as many as 11 in the second period, trailed by four in the fourth and fell behind by two early in overtime before squeaking out the 48-46 victory.
In a guard matchup that proved to be one of the most entertaining one-on-one battles of the young season, Lanesville junior Chris VanHoose and Shawe senior gunner Drew Kring were one-man wrecking crews for their clubs, with each totalling 24 points. Kring hit a pair of threes while VanHoose swished five on the afternoon.
Lanesville led 13-2 with 3:00 left in the opening quarter, with nine of the points coming on a trio of threes by VanHoose.
After Kring and VanHoose swapped buckets, Lanesville’s Evans Bridges fired in a couple of treys to give his club what proved to be its largest lead of the game, 21-10.
Shawe went on a 7-0 run over the final 4:17 of the second period to trail, 23-17.
In a fast and furious second half, Shawe got its offense in gear, with Kring stomping the accelerator.
The Hilltoppers (8-1) pulled within two in the third quarter and finally got even in the fourth.
Baskets by Kring, Ben Schafer and Todd Ungru helped give Shawe a 40-36 advantage with 2:33 left in the game.
Lanesville’s Taylor Hess scored inside at the 1:27 mark to make it a two-point affair.
The Eagles had two gifts in the form of missed one-plus-one free throws in the final minute and took advantage of the opportunity to tie the game at 40-all.
With 20 seconds left, VanHoose had a steal and lay-in, which was countered by a Hail Mary pass by Shawe to a wide open Alex Murphy.
With .2 seconds left and the score tied, each club had an opportunity for a tip-in at regulation, however the attempts failed and the game went into overtime.
Kring drew first blood, with VanHoose answering with a three. Kring added another basket, which was followed by two free throws by Matthew Beckman.
The Toppers had an opportunity to go for the win, however Kring was called for a charge on Hess. At the other end, VanHoose hit one free throw to set the final score.
Bridges scored 10 for the winners, Bachmann had six and Beckman and Hess each notched four.
Neither club shot particularly well at the foul stripe, with Shawe knocking down 4 of 7 (2-5 in the fourth) and Lanesville marking 7-12.
After Kring, Unger put in eight for Shawe.
South Central 66, Austin 62
For once, the Rebels beating themselves was actually a good thing.
Shown as the visiting team on its own scoreboard, South Central rallied from an eight-point deficit in the first half and defeated Austin by four, 66-62, in Elizabeth on Thursday morning.
It was the Rebels’ second win of the season.
Senior Chad McRae scored 22 points and sophomore Cody Jobe had 13, but it was the 19 by freshman guard Travis Higdon that had South’s gym buzzing.
‘He didn’t play like a freshman,’ Rebels coach Greg Robinson said. ‘He stepped up and hit some big free throws at the end. That’s something we know he can do.’
After Higdon hit a pair to set the score at 60-56, Jobe blocked a three-point try by Austin’s Andrew Bear. The ball ended up in Higdon’s hands and he was fouled. The youngster dropped in two more free throws with 40 seconds left, and then hit a field goal with 20 ticks remaining to put the game away.
Austin jumped out to a 17-11 lead in the opening period, and then a bucket by freshman Nick Hall pushed the advantage to 19-11.
Sparked by Jobe, McRae and Dustin Hornickel, South (2-6) made a comeback and tied the affair at 22-22 with 4:17 left. The score remained knotted at halftime, 30-30.
The two clubs slugged it out in the third period, with a 12-2 run by the Rebels over the final 4:55 giving the club a 49-40 advantage.
Along the way, Austin skipper Ron Hawn was hit with a technical foul for arguing with officials.
Austin battled back in the fourth quarter and tied the game with 1:20 left, 56-56, but South’s deadly free throw shooting effectively put the match away.
The Rebels were 9-12 from the stripe in the final quarter and went 14-21 for the game. The club sizzled from the field, hitting 25 of 41 shots.
Austin was 22 of 55 from the floor, including 9-26 on threes.
South had 36 rebounds and 25 miscues while Austin grabbed 24 rebounds and coughed up the ball 17 times.
Tyler Peterson scored 13 as Donald Conner and Chance Densford each tacked on 11 for the Eagles (3-7).