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Rebel mistakes help Lanesville escape

‘We wanted to make him beat us.’
The ‘him’ in Rob Murawski’s comment was Lanesville senior Chris VanHoose, and the ‘us’ was the South Central boys basketball team at Friday night’s Southern Athletic Conference battle in Lanesville.
And while it took a total team effort for the host Eagles to post their closer-than-expected 68-60 victory over South, VanHoose was certainly the driving force for his club, scoring a career-high 40 points on the night.
Of course, a slew of mistakes took their toll on South’s effort, as well.
‘There are a lot of different ways you can look at it, but what it came down to was turnovers and letting (VanHoose) get to the line. Our guys played hard all night, but we’ve got to get mentally tough if we want to win close ball games like this one,’ Murawski said. ‘You can’t turn the ball over, and you’ve got to hit your free throws to win ball games and tonight we didn’t do either one very well.’
South Central hit just 11 of 23 tries from the charity stripe, and committed 28 miscues, while Lanesville was 23 of 29 from the foul line, committing 13 turnovers.
Despite those disparities, the Rebels were nearly able to pull the upset, leading their arch rival, 54-52 with 2:57 left in the game.
Then the wheels fell off.
VanHoose converted an old-fashioned three-point play with 2:42 showing to give his club a one-point lead.
From there ‘ in a span of less than a minute ‘ South committed four turnovers in five possessions, leading to eight points (all by VanHoose). The Rebels went from trailing by just one point to being down eight, 63-55, with 60 seconds remaining in the contest.
Game, set, match. 68-60.
‘We’ve played South Central twice now and feel very fortunate to have won both games,’ Lanesville coach Mikel Miller said. ‘After losing our first game of the season last week (against top-ranked Barr-Reeve), we showed some resiliency tonight and beat what I would call an under-rated team. You have to give South a lot of credit. They are a good team and Rob has done a great job with them. They run at you and they get the ball to the guys who can score. We really had our work cut out for us after the first half.’
South took a 4-0 lead in the early going, then Lanesville countered with a 12-1 run. South’s Brad Holmes drained a three to slow the bleeding, with Evan Hussung capping scoring in the quarter with a bucket inside.
The Eagles led at the first break, 14-8.
Scores by Lanesville’s Kenton Acton made it a double-digit lead for Lanesville, but South Central rallied in a big way.
A 16-0 run by the Rebels started with a triple by Cody Jobe. After a Dustin Hornickel basket, Jobe had a steal and lay-in. Travis Higdon continued the spurt, and Holmes knocked down back-to-back threes as an exclamation point.
Randall Hertle put the finishing touches on the effort with a free throw (followed by a basket by Lanesville’s Taylor Hess) and field goal to put the Rebels on top at halftime, 27-21.
‘I got on (the players) a little bit at halftime,’ Miller said. ‘We missed two easy shots on our first two possessions of the game and as we saw against Barr-Reeve, you can’t miss shots like that. The one thing I was pleased about at halftime was that we were running our offense the way it was supposed to be run. We just weren’t hitting the shots.’
The Eagles kicked off the second half with a 10-2 run, including eight points by VanHoose and a drive to the hoop by David Lieber. Lanesville eventually went up by five points before Jobe and Cody Simpson sandwiched threes around a Hussung basket.
Heading into the final period, Lanesville held a slim, 45-43 lead.
The tussle stayed close until the pivotal final 2:27, when things fell apart for the visitors.
Hess and Lieber each scored eight points, followed by Acton (5), Hussung (4) and Matthew Beckman (3).
Lanesville was 22 of 57 from the field, 1-12 on threes and was out-rebounded, 36-33.
South was led by Jobe’s 17 points and nine apiece from Higdon, Hornickel and Holmes. Hertle had eight points, Hentrup put in five points and Simpson ended with three.
The Rebels were 21 of 41 from the field and 7-17 on threes.
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