Rebels are chairmen of the boards, 62-48
When it comes to cleaning glass, Windex has nothing on South Central’s boys basketball team.
In the lid-lifter for both squads, the Rebels thrashed host North Harrison on the boards, 53-30, with many of those being offensive rebounds.
Coupled with a respectable shooting number for an opening night affair (27-57 for 47 percent), South was able to turn back North Harrison for the first time since 2001, 62-48.
The Rebels raced out to a 14-3 advantage ‘ bringing on three North Harrison time-outs in a five-minute span ‘ in the opening quarter and never looked back, leading wire to wire in the victory.
‘This feels pretty good. The kids played well,’ first-year South head coach Rob Murawski said. ‘We played hard, which is what we asked them to do. All in all, all of the kids who got in there busted it and really got after it.’
Eight players scored in a balanced attack for the Rebels, led by the 13 points of 6-5 sophomore Randall Hertle. Dustin Hornickle added nine, followed by an eight-point effort from Cody Jobe, seven apiece from Brad Holmes, James Crosier and Jacob Hentrup, and six points from Travis Higdon. Cody Simpson came through with five points to round out the visitors’ scoring line.
‘There’s going to be a night where someone’s going to be able to take over and get 20 points, but they are starting to understand how to play together and work together as a team,’ Murawski said of his team’s depth. ‘I think that’s what you are going to see. We’re going to push the ball and run up and down the floor as quick as we can and you are going to see some guys outrun others and get layups.’
South’s opening explosion resulted in a 17-5 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Cougars battled back, however, in the second period and clawed their way to within four points in the final minute of the half.
After Hornickle scored inside to make it 24-12 with 4:42 showing, the hosts went on a 8-2 run thanks to a slew of South Central turnovers.
Jordan Byrne and Cody Johnson sank a free throw apiece, which was followed by a 6-0 spurt by junior David Geswein.
North trailed at the intermission, 26-20.
Johnson, who had a game-high 16 points, sandwiched a couple of field goals around a Jobe basket to keep it a four-point game in the early going of the second half, but a flurry of points by the Rebels’ Jobe, Simpson and Crosier helped keep momentum in favor of South.
The period ended with the Rebels on top, 40-35.
A triple by Johnson brought North within two, but that’s as close as the Cougars would get the rest of the way.
‘We missed a lot of shots early and they capitalized on it, so then we were behind. I didn’t want to press them, but we had no choice. We wanted to play a half-court defensive game, but once you get down 17-5 you don’t have any choice,’ North coach Rick Snodgrass said. ‘I thought our kids did a very good job coming back. They just ran out of gas.’
Byrne finished with 11 points on the night, Jim Bob Schuler scored seven, Geswein had six and Tyler Schmidt scored six. Joe Bolin added two and Tyler Brunner scored one.
North Harrison was 16 of 56 (29 percent) from the field, hitting five of 18 three-point attempts. The hosts knocked down 11 of 19 free throws and committed 18 turnovers.
‘We had a lot of shots inside, but we just didn’t hit the basket. That’s pretty much the game,’ Snodgrass said. ‘This is a game where we were able to evaluate a lot of things. We’re basically starting over this year and I told the kids in the locker room that I’m not going to get down over (the loss). We just have to continue to work hard in practice.’
The winners were 0-9 on threes and sank just eight of 15 charity tosses. South had 21 turnovers, including 10 in the second period when North Harrison made its comeback attempt.
‘I thought Cody Johnson really did a good job tonight controlling the offense. Jordan Byrne had overall, a good game. He missed some shots that he’s going to hit in the future. You saw a difference when Jim Bob Schuler was in the game for us,’ Snodgrass said. ‘We saw a lot of positives.
The Rebels return to action Saturday as they host Crawford County.
‘We’ve got to turn around Saturday and play a tough Crawford County team. (The win) is nice now, but we don’t have a whole lot of time to celebrate,’ Murawski said.
North hits the road Dec. 1 to meet its arch-rival, Corydon Central. The following night, the Cougars travel to New Albany.
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