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NH transitions past Rebels

Distribution is a common word around the holidays for retail businesses.
Products are being sold to consumers, while those buyers are figuring out the best prices and savings.
In Elizabeth last Tuesday, the North Harrison boys’ basketball team hit the hardwood with a flurry of assists. Distributing passes to the inside and out, the Cougars had little trouble jumping on host South Central early then pulling away late.
Of 28 made field goals, the Cougars had 20 assists. Those means of delivering field goals pleased North Harrison coach Kevin Jones whose team came away with an 83-52 victory.
‘If we get the kids to play unselfish and share the ball ‘ it’s an area we lacked last year ‘ we’ll get good shots,’ Jones said. ‘We talk in practice about that one more pass, going from a good shot to a great shot. Having 20 assists on 28 made field goals is pretty good.’
Having never played in the season opener, North Harrison senior Chandler Jenkins made the most of the opportunity; six of North Harrison’s first 10 points came from the 6-foot-1 guard. Jacob Harmon and Alex Flock found Jenkins open from beyond the arc, swishing a pair of bombs.
‘Chandler had surgery as a freshman, twisted his ankle as a sophomore and last year had a hip issue come up, so this was his first opening night,’ Jones said. ‘He is shooting the ball better although still a little rusty.’
Flock accounted for assists on three of the first five field goals, hitting the Jakes ‘ Troxell and Book ‘ for points inside. South Central coach Ryan Crick burned through two time-outs early in an attempt to settle his troops. Cory Ray, who tied Book with 17 points as game leaders, netted an early 3-pointer but found his team trailing 10-3.
‘We knew they would come out pressing,’ Crick said. ‘I had to call a time-out and get the jitters out. Once we broke the press a few times, they backed off. Then, we had to adjust to their half-court trap.’
South Central started to keep better pace with North Harrison toward the final six minutes of the opening half. Offensive rebounds by Henry Hentrup, Collan Knear and Logan May led to Rebels’ points.
Harmon, a 6-8 option in the post, banked in two field goals underneath to keep the Cougars ahead. South Central cut North Harrison’s once seven-point lead to two, 16-14, when Ray hit a 3-pointer from Joe Logsdon.
During the final two minutes, South Central was held scoreless while North Harrison put in field goals from Book and a one-handed tip in by Jenkins to lead 20-14.
The second quarter, however, was all North Harrison.
Nine South Central turnovers were forced, leading to transition opportunities by the Cougars.
‘We have some athletes and, when (South Central) turned it over, we got out on the break quick,’ Jones said. ‘We should be able to hurt some teams in transition, and I thought we did that tonight.’
During the eight-minute quarter, North Harrison went to the line 15 times, accounting for 12 of its 30 points. Book, knifing through the lane, had three field goals, including an and-one. By halftime, the Cougars were ahead 50-24.
‘The first quarter, I thought we had some nerves, particularly with Troxell and Harmon, but, once they got in the flow, they were able to fit right in,’ Jones said. ‘Troxell is a four-man that can run the floor well for that position.’
In all, North Harrison used its depth to dole out 11 players reaching the scorebook. Four Cougars reached double figures: Book (17 points), Alex Eveslage (14), Jenkins (11) and Flock (10).
‘We had four guys in double figures, and no one played more than 18 minutes,’ Jones said. ‘We had a lot of guys get quality time. Three kids scored their first varsity points. That’s an important stat.’
South Central had plenty of new faces on the floor with three players who saw a good amount of varsity time last season.
‘Whenever you (graduate) a Nick Wemes, even though he was injured most of last year, and Zach Goodwin, two guys that can handle the ball, we have to adjust with a new team,’ Crick said. ‘First-half turnovers killed us, and then we put them at the free-throw line too much. We were slow closing down on the wings and, when we did that, they made us pay.’
Troxell, on a break early in the second half, brought the Cougars’ fans to their feet with a two-handed dunk. The junior was fouled on the play but didn’t make the freebie, possibly because he couldn’t contain his excitement or his grin.
‘Once Troxell got his dunk, we had to get him out. He was leaking out after that looking for another,’ Jones said with a laugh. ‘He has always been able to get high enough to dunk but struggled to finish it one-handed. (Assistant coach John) Nolot told him to go up two-handed, and (he’s) has been able to do it now.’
Troxell finished with a team-best seven rebounds and added eight points.
After the dunk, Flock heated up from the outside, sinking a few triples. Offensive rebounds by Quinn Kaiser led to an Alex Eveslage basket. Skyler Wetzel joined the scoring party with a long ball to cap a 25-point third quarter for the Cougars.
‘I feel like we have 10 kids that can play and, when we put any of them in a varsity game, we will be fine,’ Jones said. ‘Spreading the minutes around helped us gain experience tonight. We’ll be ready if dealt with foul trouble or an injury because we’ll have some balance.’
Book led North Harrison in assists with six, while Jenkins and Flock had three each.
Crick said he saw some positives, especially on the boards. Henry Hentrup and Logan May had seven boards each, while Knear added six. In all, the teams were even on the glass, 44-44.
‘One thing about Collan Knear is he isn’t afraid to play dirty,’ Crick said. ‘He’s going to get in there and play physical and use his body to his advantage. He played well.’
Logan Stewart came along in the second half for South Central, scoring eight of his 13 points, going 5 of 10 from the field.
‘We’ll watch film and take out the positives and work on some of the areas that need attention,’ Crick said. ‘Our transition defense, we struggled to find our man. By the time we found our man, they were already getting angles to the basket.’
North Harrison will return to action Friday when the Cougars host arch-rival Corydon Central at 7:30 p.m. South Central will head to South Spencer on Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. varsity tip.

North Harrison 20 30 25 8 ‘ 83
South Central 14 10 15 13 ‘ 52
North Harrison (1-0) ‘ Book 17, Eveslage 14, Jenkins 11, A. Flock 10, Troxell 8, Harmon 6, Haub 4, M. Flock 4, Kaiser 4, Wetzel 3, Kuerzi 2.
South Central (0-1) ‘ Ray 17, Stewart 13, Hentrup 6, May 5, Knear 4, A. Schoen 3, Boyd 2, Basham 2.
3-point goals ‘ North Harrison 7 (Eveslage 2, Jenkins 2, A. Flock 2, Wetzel); South Central 4 (Ray 3, Stewart).