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Rebels press forward, topple WC

Rebels press forward, topple WC
Rebels press forward, topple WC
South CentralÂ’s Nate Shaffer, above, shouts a play as the Rebels move into offensive position against Washington Catholic Friday night. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

The South Central boys’ basketball team overcame a shaky second quarter Friday to roll by visiting Washington Catholic, 60-39, on homecoming night.
Debuting a press defense, the Rebels were able to force 27 turnovers.
‘We knew they struggled against pressure after seeing some film,’ South Central coach Ryan Crick said. ‘We put in a press during practice this week, and it’s something we haven’t done all year.’
Crick said the press was effective despite some weaknesses.
‘We really have to work on our weak-side guy, remembering to cover the middle,’ he said. ‘Some players in certain positions in the press have to understand quicker on when to drop back. You don’t want to get beat over the top.’
Carrying a hot-hand from the start for South Central was Bobby Sampson. The junior opened the game with a 3-pointer and continued in the first quarter to make four additional field goals.
Jason Boston hit consecutive baskets, the latter coming off a steal in the backcourt. When Tyler Schifcar made a field goal, South Central led 9-0. Washington Catholic broke into the scoring column with a single free throw from Billy Strange.
From that point, Sampson outscored the Cardinals, 8-1. Although they struggled much of the first quarter to find scoring, Washington Catholic’s Colton Reed hit a one-handed trey at the buzzer from the volleyball line.
South Central went into the second quarter with an 18-5 lead, but fouls became an issue for the Rebels. South Central hit three field goals to Washington Catholic’s two, but the Cardinals did damage at the charity stripe to get back into the game.
The Cardinals hit 12 of 14 free throws in the second quarter, while South Central struggled at the line, going 2 of 11.
‘We fouled them way too much in the first half,’ Crick said. ‘They were (overall) 14 of 18 at the free-throw line. I take blame for how we played late in the first half because of my substitutions. Bobby Sampson got hot in that first quarter, and I took him out because I thought the lineup on the floor would improve our defense, but we kind of fell apart. We fought back in the second half, and I’ll take a win any day.’
With the lead cut to 26-21 at the half, South Central came out with a big run to start the third quarter. A Billy Strange jumper cut the lead to three, but South Central ripped off a 7-0 run. Kyle Pease, Sampson and Boston made up the scoring on the break.
After Strange hit a triple for the Cardinals, Pease and Sampson combined for a 9-2 run to close the frame.
In the fourth quarter, South Central outscored the visitors, 18-9, to take the victory.
‘That was one of those games where it was ugly,’ Crick said. ‘Halfway through the first quarter, the play became sloppy and ugly. Then, in the second quarter, it wasn’t pretty, but, fortunately, things got better in the second half.’
Sampson closed the game with 21 points on 9 of 11 shooting, including three treys. He also had three steals and three rebounds.
Pease reached double figures with 11 points, while Boston had 10. Boston, along with Mark O’Connor, pulled down eight rebounds apiece.
Washington Catholic was led by Strange’s 11 points, while Reed was held to seven points. Reed also had 13 rebounds.
‘(Reed) is an athletic kid,’ Crick said. ‘I thought we did a nice job shutting him down offensively. He’s a kid that normally is hitting three’s from film I saw.’
Crick said it was nice to get the win after a tough, narrow loss at Henryville last week.
‘I think last week’s game was better played on our part,’ he said. ‘We gave everything we had, but late turnovers hurt us. Tonight, we gutted the game out and fought through turnovers. We were able to pull out the win, and I’m very proud of our guys.’
South Central (4-13) will return to action tomorrow (Thursday) when it hosts Providence (13-3) at 7:30 p.m.
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