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Big third quarter propels Cougars past Rebels, 73-47

Big third quarter propels Cougars past Rebels, 73-47
Big third quarter propels Cougars past Rebels, 73-47
North Harrison's Logan McIntyre goes up for a shot. McIntyre led the Cougars with 28 points. Photo by Amanda Arnold
Mike Arnold, Contributing Writer

The North Harrison Cougars outscored the South Central Rebels 20-6 in the third quarter last Tuesday to take control of a close road game, eventually turning back the Rebels 73-47, in the boys’ basketball season opener for both teams.

The Cougars, taking the court for new coach Lou Lefevre’s first game at the helm, brought a significant height advantage to Elizabeth, with players standing 6-foot-9, 6-foot-7 and 6-foot-5 in the starting lineup. South Central suited up two 6-foot-2 starters, with a 6-foot-4 player coming off the bench, although that didn’t prove an immediate liability for the Rebels, whose focus and intensity showed early.

South Central coach Greg Robinson said his squad was out-manned size-wise but remained aggressive around the basket.

“Our effort was there, we played hard,” he said.

Post players Braden Jenkins and Langdon Hatton scored the first two baskets for the Cougars, then SC senior Dylan Patterson nailed a three-pointer and hit two free throws to put the Rebels on top 5-4. Back-and-forth battling commenced before North Harrison built a 10-7 lead, then a three by Rebel junior Lucas Stewart knotted the game at 10. North Harrison sophomore Logan McIntyre (who led all scorers with 28) followed his own miss to get a bucket with 2:46 to go in the first, putting the Cougars back ahead 12-10.

Coming away from an injury timeout, Stewart struck again at the 1:39 mark, hitting another three to help South Central regain the lead, 13-12. A Hatton free throw tied it on the next North Harrison possession, but a Rebels’ basket by senior Jordan Huda helped his team to a 15-13 lead after one.

The second period saw a slower pace, as McIntyre drained the first of his three three-pointers to put the Cougars back on top 16-15. A three by South Central senior Leslie Wilson tied it at 20 with 4:25 to go in the half and began a 7-0 run by the Rebels that also saw field goals by Patterson and Huda to help South Central claim a 24-20 lead at the 3:29 mark.

The Rebels’ time in the driver’s seat was short-lived however, as North Harrison closed the half on a 6-0 swing, spurred by a McIntyre basket and highlighted by a Hatton slam dunk that tied the game at 24 with 2:17 remaining. Cougar freshman Sawyer Wetzel scored on a reverse layup with three seconds to go in the half, as NH claimed a 26-24 advantage at the break.

Lefevre said his team seemed a step behind in the early stages, especially on defense where it was occasionally out of position, leading to South Central baskets.

“I didn’t feel confident that this game was going to go our way,” he said. “I felt we got out-played in the first half.”

On the opposite sideline, Robinson was pleased with his team’s first half play.

“It was 16 minutes of good basketball,” he said.

The Cougars picked up where they left off in the third quarter, beginning with another 6-0 run, comprised of a McIntyre three and basket sandwiched around a Hatton foul shot to go up 32-24, just over a minute into the period. Patterson got a basket for the Rebels, and Jenkins and McIntyre added back-to-back buckets to push the Cougars’ lead into double digits, 36-26, at the 5:12 mark. McIntyre’s shooting in the third period, in which he notched 12 of his points, sparked the Cougars, Lefevre said.

“McIntyre’s offense was a tremendous boost to us,” he added. “He was really solid on the offensive end.”

North Harrison closed the third period on a 10-4 run to lead 46-30 going into the fourth. Robinson said North Harrison found its shot in the third quarter and that success helped the Cougars pull away.

“That really started things going for them,” he said. “They adjusted to our pressure in the second half.”

North Harrison opened the final period with a 6-2 run, pushing its lead to 52-32, two minutes into the period. South Central senior Austin Tyree canned a three at the 5:21 mark, but the Rebels were not able to find any offensive rhythm.

Patterson converted a three-point play to make it 59-42 with 2:51 to play; however, North Harrison finished the game on a 14-5 run to further distance itself and lock up the comfortable win. The final scoring push was keyed by eight combined points from Wetzel and fellow freshman Riley Schneider. Of that, Wetzel knocked down a three-pointer and a foul shot and Schneider was four of four from the line.

North Harrison got a balance of inside and perimeter scoring, which helped it extend its lead in the fourth quarter. In addition, Lefevre praised the play of his freshmen, who saw increased action due to injuries and foul trouble.

“They really gutted it out,” he added. “They helped us win the game. That was nice to see.”

Robinson said his team wasn’t as successful offensively in the second half, particularly when it struggled to push the ball.

“We got some really good looks; they just didn’t go in,” he said. “We needed to run the floor. We didn’t run as well as we could have.”

Robinson praised the play of Patterson, who finished with 11 rebounds (topping the Rebels), holding his own on the boards with the much taller Cougars.

“He played a good game,” Robinson added. “He just goes and gets the ball.”

Both coaches said while the first game showed some positives, it also underscored several areas where work remains.

Lefevre mentioned conditioning as an area where his team must improve, along with his players continuing to get used to him as a new coach with a new system. Overall, he said his team responded in the second half.

“It was a nice gutty, gritty win for us,” he said.

South Central succeeded in taking care of the ball and executed well changing defenses, Robinson said, but must improve its shooting.

“We’ve got to get better offensively,” he said. “We weren’t as sharp offensively as we need to be.”

In addition to McIntyre’s 28, Hatton scored 16 and Jenkins added 12 for North Harrison.

“Jenkins and Hatton did their work inside,” Lefevre said.

Patterson’s 18 paced South Central, and he was joined in double figures by Stewart, who totaled 13, including two threes and 5 for 5 on free throws.

North Harrison shot 53% from the field for the game (28 of 53 shots), which included 4 of 11 from behind the arc (36%). The Cougars also sank 12 of 18 from the stripe (67%).

South Central was 16 of 53 total from the field (30%) and, of that, hit 5 of 20 from distance (20%). The Rebels likewise shot 67% from the line, hitting 10 of 15.

 

North Harrison                                        13  13 20  27 – 73

South Central                                          15    9    6  17 – 47

North Harrison (1-0) – McIntyre 28, Hatton 16, Jenkins 12, Wetzel 6, Schneider, 4, Kellems 3, Fenn 2, Marrs 2.

South Central (0-1) – Patterson 18, Stewart 13, Huda 4, Tyree 3, Wilson 3, Cunningham 2, Schoen 2, Thomas 2.

3-point goals – North Harrison 4 (McIntyre 3, Wetzel 1); South Central 5 (Stewart 2, Patterson 1, Tyree 1, Wilson 1).

Photo by Amanda Arnold

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