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Eagles’ press, inside game too much for rival South Central

Eagles’ press, inside game too much for rival South Central
Eagles’ press, inside game too much for rival South Central
LanesvilleÂ’s Brandon Mullens turns to the basket to score two points in the first half against rival South Central last Tuesday. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

In a rivalry game between not only county foes, but also sectional and Southern Athletic Conference opponents, one would expect a little beating and banging.
Those expectations were met when Lanesville hooked up with South Central last Tuesday for a physical battle that found the Eagles winning the contest, 63-43.
Lanesville put in the offensive work with points in the paint and with its defense with a zone press. The Eagles forced 22 turnovers and committed 11.
‘That’s not bad for us,’ Lanesville coach Mikel Miller said of the turnovers. ‘With the style we play, we want to at least double up what we turnover. That was an early struggle for us. We struggled shooting at the end of the first and start of the second quarter. We couldn’t get in that press, which we could see was bothering them when we did make baskets.’
Cody Schultz provided the early scoring for Lanesville, hitting three consecutive field goals that eventually put Lanesville up 12-7 after the first quarter.
South Central cut the lead to 12-10 when Dillon Miller hit a field goal. From that point, Lanesville turned up the pressure once it began to make shots inside. Brandon Mullens, Bryant Conder and Andy Glomb combined to go on an 11-3 Eagles run.
The backcourt pressure Lanesville put on South Central helped force eight turnovers, including three 10-second back-court violation calls.
Corey Frazier, who finished with 10 points, scored six consecutive points to close the first half and lead Lanesville to a 29-16 advantage.
‘What it came down to was we turned the ball over too much in the first half,’ South Central coach Rob Murawski said. ‘We were able to cut down on those in the second half and we were able to cut their lead down. We made that little run, but it just wasn’t enough.’
Lanesville extended its lead with a 7-2 run at the start of the second half. Mullens scored four of his 11 points during that run. Mullens, who was coming back from an injury, is starting to be a force inside.
‘We got some good play from Brandon,’ Miller said. ‘He is getting a little healthier for us. And, as you can see, when he is healthy, he makes a big difference. Teams can’t just play off Bryant; it makes it difficult when Brandon plays well inside. He is such a great passer that he can also kick it out.’
When trailing 36-18, South Central put together a spirited comeback attempt. Nick Bennett knocked down a 3-pointer and followed with a pair of free throws. Dillon Miller added a 3-point play to pull South Central within 10 at 36-26.
‘The Bennett boy did well breaking us down,’ Miller said. ‘We made some mistakes slowing him, but we can learn from that.’
Lanesville, however, went back to pressure and taking the ball to the basket. In the final 3:50 of the third quarter, the Eagles went on a 9-0 run to put away the Rebels.
South Central used two Kyle Pease 3-pointers to crawl back to within 14 points on two occasions, but that was as close as the Rebels could get.
Lanesville was paced by Conder’s 23 points. The Eagles were without their second-leading scorer, Nick Hammond, who was sidelined on game-day by an illness. Mullens added 11 points off the bench, and Frazier contributed 10.
‘I thought, defensively, we did a good job on Conder,’ Murawski said. ‘I thought we did a good job in man defense most of the game.’
‘Bryant played pretty well,’ Miller said. ‘There were some things where he needs to be more patient at times. With Nick not playing tonight, he felt he had to do a little more. He showed much better patience in the second half.’
South Central was led in scoring by Miller and Bennett, who each scored 13 points. Pease added 11 points. The Rebels were also playing without Chip Hockenbury, who is recovering from a leg injury.
‘Bennett is going real well right now,’ Murawski said. ‘He was able to take it through the lane. He has adapted after a year away. We had help from Dillon hitting some layups, and Pease hit some 3s to keep us in it.’
Lanesville was able to escape Elizabeth with its second SAC victory. The Eagles host county-foe North Harrison Friday and travel to Christian Academy of Indiana on Saturday. South Central hits the road Friday to take on SAC-rival Crothersville.
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