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Ferree splits Rebels, sinks SC

Ferree splits Rebels, sinks SC
Ferree splits Rebels, sinks SC
Lanesville's Joe Ferree leaps to scoop a shot attempt while being guarded by South Central's Sutton Day in the first round of sectional play. Photos by Brian Smith

Lanesville knew to not take South Central lightly.
South Central wanted another shot at the Eagles.
Last Tuesday, in the opening round of the Class 1A Borden Sectional, the fierce Harrison County rivals met on the hardwood in an electric atmosphere.
South Central took a brief lead on a pair of Zack Goodwin free throws to start the second half, but the pressure of Lanesville and fresh Matthew Husband lofted the Eagles ahead. A 13-2 Lanesville spurt prompted a wider Lanesville edge, leading to a 53-40 victory for the defending sectional champs.
Joe Ferree sliced, diced and julienned his way through the South Central defensive traps in the final quarter. He accounted for 12 of Lanesville’s 18 points down the stretch.
Overall, Ferree’s stat line went beyond the scorebook. Sure, the sensational junior had 19 points, but he also contributed seven rebounds, six assists and five steals.
‘He was very active,’ Lanesville coach Mikel Miller said.
‘Joe Ferree is an excellent player,’ South Central coach Ryan Crick said. ‘We did not stop him in transition.’
A relatively quiet first half out of Husband, due in part to early foul trouble for him and fellow starter Riley Cook, saw him break-out in the third quarter.
When Goodwin hit a pair of freebies, putting the energetic Rebels up 21-19, Lanesville’s run commenced on the back of Husband.
After a Husband deuce, Ferree slid a pass to Elijah Wilkin for an up-and-under finish to regain the lead. Goodwin had the lone field goal for South Central during Lanesville’s run.
Ferree went to work, finding Husband for a field goal. Cook got involved, stealing a ball in the back court, turning it into two points. Tacking on two more assists, Ferree ended the run with passes to Wilkin and Husband for makes.
Husband, scoring nine of his 14 points in the third quarter, drained a triple to eventually give Lanesville a 35-25 lead heading into the fourth.
‘I thought our effort and energy was better in the second half,’ Miller said. ‘We looked like we were running in the mud, playing in the snow at times in the first half.’
Having starters Husband and Cook back on the floor helped as well.
‘We did much better in the second half because we made some real silly fouls in the first half that got us in some trouble,’ Miller added. ‘The second half was much better. I don’t think Matt got another foul, and Riley did better, too.’
Crick said they were prepared for Lanesville’s run but having an answer for each score was an issue. Owen Shewmaker had four points in the third, a quarter that saw the Rebels outscored 16-7.
‘We knew the second half they would apply pressure, and they did,’ Crick said. ‘We played well in spurts. We need to get mentally better at playing a full 32 minutes.’
Cory Ray, returning from a hand injury, knocked down a South Central 3-pointer to kick off the final frame.
Then came a few Ferree drives to the rack. Using Rajon Rando-like ball fakes to juke Rebels, Ferree slashed his way through the lane several times. His lay-in that put the Eagles ahead 42-28 with five minutes to go wasn’t enough to impede the pride of South Central.
The Rebels stormed back with a 10-0 run, making things interesting. Goodwin had a spin toward the lane for two. Alex Goforth and Logan Stewart knocked down outside shots.
Hitting from beyond the arc with 2:55 to go, Goforth’s make brought South Central within four, 42-38, prompting a Miller time-out.
‘Settle down,’ Miller said he told his players at the stoppage. ‘We had chucked up a couple shots. (South Central) were running traps. In the first half, that might be a good shot, but, in the fourth quarter, when you are ahead, they aren’t as good shots. We wanted them to foul us, even though we didn’t shoot particularly well at the foul line, or get a lay-up.’
The speech worked. Ferree split a sea of South Central defenders for an underhand lay-in. A few seconds later, Ferree snagged a pass then converted a 3-point play, much to the pleasure of the Lanesville faithful.
The 6-0 scoring run by Ferree essentially sealed the game’s fate.
‘Being South Central, it’s a rival,’ Miller said. ‘I told the coaches and kids that I didn’t expect anything less than a battle. Ryan (Crick) does a really nice job. He has some kids that work really hard and some seniors that showed they didn’t want to lose tonight. They played well for the whole ballgame.’
Crick said the team looked forward to the challenge of Lanesville, a team the Rebels lost to 61-42 in early January. During that visit to Lanesville, the teams were tied at halftime.
‘We wanted another shot at (Lanesville), and we wanted another shot at Borden,’ Crick said. ‘We had two of our best games against them despite losing.’
Three South Central seniors ‘ Goforth, Goodwin and Shewmaker ‘ had great starts. A bucket from each gave South Central an early 6-4 lead.
Lanesville re-took the lead, 9-8, when Luke Ferguson swung a pass to Ferree for a trey. The Eagles would lead by as many as five points in the first half, but a run of four straight Goodwin points snipped the Lanesville halftime lead to one, 19-18.
‘Zack, I was pleased with the way he played tonight,’ Crick said. ‘He made us go.’
Goodwin closed with 13 points, while Shewmaker had eight and Goforth seven.
While Lanesville had its typical stellar scoring output from Ferree (19) and Husband (14), Wilkin provided 12 points in the post. The sophomore had half of Lanesville’s eight points in the second quarter.
‘It’s something I think he is able to do,’ Miller said of Wilkin. ‘He’s usually a shorter center, but, tonight, he was really active on both ends of the floor. He made some key baskets when we needed it. When (South Central) made a run, it seemed Elijah was the one to get the key basket or rebound.’
Crick said his team bought into the sectional aura and battled until the end.
‘The atmosphere was awesome,’ Crick said. ‘I hear our fans. I hear their fans. I’m screaming at the top of my lungs, trying to get our players to do something and they can’t hear me. It’s Indiana. It’s high school basketball, the way it’s supposed to be.’
With the win, Lanesville advanced to the semi-final to face Christian Academy of Indiana.
South Central’s season ended with a 3-22 record.
‘This year is over, and this offseason will entail a lot of individual stuff,’ Crick said. ‘We need to work on increasing our strength and shooting the basketball … I hope to continue with the program and build it to where we are competing at a high level for conference and sectional championships. It is going to take a lot of work and dedication but, if we can get everyone to compete at the highest level, that is attainable.’
The Rebels also will graduate Nick Wemes, a starter who missed much of the season with a knee injury.

Lanesville 11 8 16 18 ‘ 53
South Central 8 10 7 15 ‘ 40
Lanesville (10-13) ‘ Ferree 19, Husband 14, Wilkin 12, Cook 4, Sronce 2, Ferguson 2.
South Central (3-22) ‘ Goodwin 13, Shewmaker 8, Goforth 7, Day 4, Ray 3, Stewart 3, Baelz 2.
3-point goals ‘ Lanesville 2 (Ferree, Husband); South Central 2 (Goforth, Day).