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Improved effort brings SC just short of Borden

Improved effort brings SC just short of Borden
Improved effort brings SC just short of Borden
Trying to drive the baseline, South Central's Sutton Day is defended by Borden's Noah Hart. Photo by Brian Smith

Friday night’s crowd in Borden was sent into a frenzy before the tip of the varsity contest.
Nearly every spectator stood and cheered for participants in Special Olympics Indiana from Borden schools as they interacted with South Central and Borden boys’ basketball players and coaches. When the first two players nailed their first shots from near the free-throw line, the crowds became as electric as the final moments of a sectional game.
And when the boys’ contest began, both teams’ spirits were high. However, the home squad Braves took charge early on, taking off on a 7-0 outburst to start the game.
Borden opened up a double-digit lead in the second quarter but had to fend off a much-better played second half by South Central. Alex Goforth poured in five 3-pointers for South Central, including one that helped trim the Borden lead to five.
Finishing strong, Borden played an even fourth quarter with South Central, leading to a 52-45 final score.
‘Our effort tonight was much better,’ South Central coach Ryan Crick said. ‘Plenty to build on.’
Zack Goodwin was steady for the Rebels as well, logging a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Engineering a 13-point lead at halftime, Borden used the play of Noah Hart off the bench to contribute scoring. He swished a shot from beyond the arc to give his team a 27-14 lead.
Although South Central struggled to score in the opening half, Crick was encouraged by the hustle and effort of his team.
Elijah Franklin swiped the ball for the Braves, but his lay-in attempt was swatted by Goodwin. The block was one of two for the senior in the second quarter.
The zone-defense scheme played by the Braves limited South Central in the first half, but things turned in the third. Owen Shewmaker, hampered by foul trouble all night, got off for two straight buckets.
Hot shooting continued when Nick Wemes and Goforth hit triples. Following his, Goforth swished a jumper to pull South Central within five, 33-28.
‘Alex started off cold, but then he started to hit some,’ Crick said of the senior. ‘We needed those to fall to keep Borden honest. I told him after the game, I knew there was at least five more times he could have caught and shot the basketball.’
Crick said Goforth is South Central’s top outside shooter.
‘He has a good shot,’ Crick added. ‘I want him to know when he has his feet set, catches it clean, he can put up that shot. Most of the time, it goes in when he’s set.’
Borden’s Reilly Gray put Borden back ahead by seven with a field goal with 12 seconds left in the third period.
Momentum carried over for the Braves in the final eight minutes, as they scored the first five points. Caleb Hart, who finished with 17 points, converted a Rebels’ turnover into points.
South Central tried to keep pace with Sutton Day, Wemes and Goforth hitting 3-pointers late, but the margin was too much to overcome.
Crick said the return of Wemes from a minor injury was welcomed.
‘Tonight was a whole lot more fun than the previous weekend,’ Crick said. ‘It does help when an experienced guard comes back, but you could tell he still has some growing to do. He fell into some bad habits of one-handed passes and a rushed three early. Those are some growing pains, but, effort-wise, I am much more pleased.’
Crick also praised the all-around play of Goodwin, one of the team’s leaders.
‘He was more consistent,’ Crick said. ‘That is the Zack Goodwin this team needs for us to be successful. He’s by far our most aggressive basketball player we have. When he gets things going, he can finish but also pass the basketball out to our shooters.’
Borden put four players in double figures: Caleb Hart (17), Nathan Bachman (12), Gray (11) and Noah Hart (10).
South Central returned home the next night to score its first win of the season. Paced by 21 points from Nick Wemes, the Rebels knocked off Tell City, 51-45, on Saturday. The win brought South Central to 1-5 on the season.
Up next will be another home contest against Class A sectional team Christian Academy of Indiana on Friday at 7:30 p.m. During the week of Christmas, South Central will participate (along with the girls’ program) in the Toyota Teamwork Classic (Gibson County). The first round of pool play will begin Monday when the Rebels play at Wood Memorial.

South Central 7 7 14 17 ‘ 45
Borden 11 16 8 17 ‘ 52
South Central (0-5, 0-1 SAC) ‘ Goforth 17, Goodwin 12, Day 6, Wemes 6, Shewmaker 4.
Borden (4-1, 2-0) ‘ C. Hart 17, Bachman 12, Gray 11, N. Hart 10, Moore 2.
3-point goals ‘ South Central 8 (Goforth 5, Wemes 2, Day); Borden 1 (N. Hart).