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Borden outlasts Rebels in OT

Borden outlasts Rebels in OT
Borden outlasts Rebels in OT
South CentralÂ’s Kyle Pease drives the lane for the Rebels against Borden Friday. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

Dressed in zombie garb, the South Central student section should have deemed the theme ‘Thriller’ night in Elizabeth Friday.
The South Central boys’ basketball team found itself in a thrilling finish against defending sectional champion and Southern Athletic Conference rival Borden. The Braves, however, came out with an overtime win, 52-47.
South Central struggled in the paint during the first half, but its strong play on the defensive end held Borden to a 21-17 lead at the half.
‘I thought the offense got us every look we wanted in the first half, but the shots just didn’t fall for us,’ South Central coach Rob Murawski said.
In the third quarter, the Rebels started to sink some shots. Dylan Carpenter led off the third quarter with a field goal, igniting a 10-4 run. The spurt also found a few Rebel 3-point field goals with Carpenter and Nick Bennett sank treys.
Borden briefly took the lead back in the third quarter with a Jacob Rich 3-pointer, but the South Central offense continued to click. The Rebels closed the third quarter with a 6-0 run capped by a Kyle Pease field goal to give South Central a 33-28 lead.
The fourth quarter was full of excitement on both ends. Borden picked up its full-court pressure, forcing eight Rebel turnovers in the final quarter. South Central hung on to the lead until the 2:06 mark when Dalton Wagoner converted a turnover into a field goal to give the Braves a 40-39 lead.
Neither team scored again until 22.9 seconds were left, when Rich sank one of two free throws. South Central missed its first opportunity to score, but Borden’s shot attempt to put away the game missed.
South Central, out of a time-out, drew up a play to give Pease, who led all scorers with 17 points, an opportunity to create. The freshman cut to the basket, drawing a opening for senior Dillon Miller on the inside. Miller spun and sank the field goal to force the overtime.
‘The great thing was we drew that up,’ Murawski said. ‘We wanted to either get Miller or Kyle stepping to the basket. Borden switched and Kyle made a nice pass to the basket, and we finished it. They executed that play perfect.’
In the overtime, South Central got on the board first with a Pease 3-point goal. The Rebels then failed to score during the next three minutes. During that span, Brandon Beam and Wagoner combined to go on a 7-0 run for the Braves.
South Central’s Carpenter managed to cut the Brave’s lead to 48-46 with a field goal with 24.1 seconds left. Borden answered with a run out to the other end of the court, converting a Rich layup.
‘The last two games, they have played really well and put out a strong effort,’ Murawski said of the Rebels. ‘We missed a few block outs down the stretch. Everyone played well and, obviously, Kyle had a big game. We are looking for that outside scorer and, hopefully, Kyle can consistently provide that for us. It gives these other guys an opportunity to get better looks.’
Murawski added that he was impressed with the effort on the defensive end.
‘The score was 41-41 at the end of regulation, and we want to hold teams to 12 a quarter, so we definitely got what we wanted defensively,’ he said. ‘They did a great job. Borden didn’t score a whole lot off their sets. We played good defense, but we just have to take better care of the basketball. It is just those little things we need to keep working on.’
While the thriller didn’t go the way of the Rebels this time, Murawski said the big picture is looking up.
‘That team (Borden) went to regionals last year,’ he said. ‘We just have to get better at the little things. The point is, we have three or four players out there that have little varsity experience. They are going to get use to it and get better as they go. Even though we have six seniors, including four starters, we are just going to get better learning from these games. We were just so close tonight.’
Pease hit two 3-pointers to lead with 17 points. Carpenter and Miller added nine points, and Bennett had eight.
Borden was led by Wagoner’s 13 points and Beam’s 12.
South Central travels to Christian Academy of Indiana Friday for a contest. The Rebels will travel to Ohio County (Ky.) to participate in a tournament starting Monday and wrapping up on Wednesday.
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