Lanesville survives late-game run to beat South Central
George Browning, Sports Writer, [email protected]
The Lanesville boys built a 17-point lead Friday at South Central and then had to hold on for dear life to earn a 58-51 win.
“It was an amazing game,” said Lanesville senior Trip Dillion III. “It’s a big rivalry, the gym was packed and the atmosphere was amazing. There was a loud cheer after every shot. It was a lot of fun.”
The Eagles led 43-26 late in the third quarter and continued to maintain a comfortable lead two minutes into the fourth before a basket by the Rebels’ Dylan Patterson and back-to-back threes, one by Austin Tyree and one by Maddox Baker, lit a fire under their team and the crowd.
Baker’s three trimmed the margin to seven points, 45-38, but Lanesville’s Justin Bailey answered the 7-0 spurt with a three of his own. Bailey’s three may have paused the momentum but it didn’t stop it.
Lucas Stewart, who led his team with 18 points, responded for South Central with a two, and Tyree hit another three to pull them within five, 48-43.
A two by Dillion, with 3:03 remaining in the game, pushed the lead back to seven, 50-43, but the Rebels’ tide continued to roll.
Patterson hit two free throws, and Stewart scored two off a steal that led to an easy basket, and the Eagles’ lead was back to three, 50-47, with 1:39 remaining in the contest.
Dillion scored another basket and ended up getting a steal on South Central’s next possession. Lanesville was unable to take advantage of the take away and, after a missed basket, Tyree scored again for the Rebels, pulling his team again to within three, 52-49.
The Eagles again squandered a possession, and Stewart made them pay when he scored another basket for South Central, trimming the Eagles’ lead to one, 52-51.
A foul sent Lanesville’s Connor Nolot to the line for a bonus opportunity. He missed the first, and the Rebels grabbed the board and had a chance to take the lead. Stewart missed a three, and the Eagles grabbed the rebound.
Mason Miller was fouled and went to the line and knocked down two free throws, pushing his team’s lead back to three, 54-51.
A Nolot steal led to an easy basket for Dillion and provided Lanesville some breathing room. Then, after a defensive stop, Nolot closed the door completely with 2.6 seconds as he hit two free throws.
Eagles’ coach Mikel Miller said while he was glad his team built the 17-point lead, he expected South Central to eventually make a run.
“That’s kind of the way they play,” he said. “They go on runs and, to their credit, they didn’t give up, and I knew they weren’t going to. (Coach) Greg (Robinson) does a really good job, and his kids play hard and they made a good comeback and made it close at the end. Overall, it was a good win. You’d like to finish a little stronger when you have a double-digit lead, but, in this environment, against a team that plays as hard as they do, you expect it to be close at the end.
“We showed a lot of character there when they cut it to one,” Miller said. “We hit some free throws down the stretch and got a big basket. We also got a couple of nice stops that we needed in order to win the game.”
Miller said the win was a true team effort with a lot of players stepping up.
“Our seniors made huge plays down the stretch, and we expect that from them,” he said. “Justin Bailey had a big game after a great week of practice. The whole team had a great week of practice, but Justin carried it over and really played well for us.”
Robinson said while Lanesville’s defense deserves credit, he doesn’t feel like his team had very good shot selection early, which led to a lot of misses.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well tonight and, when we did get it going, we were able to get back in it,” Robinson said. “Austin (Tyree) hit some big shots that got us going, and he also picked us up on the defensive end. We got back in it and had a shot. I can’t fault our effort. To be 15 down at the end of the third quarter and then get it back to one point, it says a lot for our guys.”
Early in the game, South Central led 4-2, but the Eagles began to take control.
Three consecutive three-point baskets, one by Ethan Schickel and two by Nolot, gave Lanesville an 11-6 lead.
A Stewart three and one of two free throws by Dillion kept the Eagles in front with a 12-9 advantage at the end of the first half.
Dillion scored again to open the second, and Baker and Schickel traded threes, giving Lanesville a five-point edge, 17-12.
Jonas Powers hit one of two free throws for the visitors, and Nolot and Ashton Smith each hit threes and the Eagles were soaring to a 12-point lead.
Two baskets by South Central, one from Wesley Wilson and another from Clay Thomas, pulled the Rebels to within single digits, 25-16, at intermission.
South Central tried to make a run early in the third quarter. A basket by Stewart was followed by an old-fashioned three-point play by Patterson that trimmed the deficit to six, 27-21.
The Eagles answered with a 6-0 run that was sparked by two baskets from Dillion, who finished the game with 15 points, and another by Nolot, who contributed 17.
A three by Wilson kept the Rebels in striking distance, but Lanesville went on another 6-0 spurt, this time with two baskets by Nolot and one by Schickel.
Schickel’s basket gave the Eagles their biggest lead 17, with the score at 43-26.
For Robinson and his team, he said it’s easy to blame decisions at the end of the game in a close loss, but he feels like there were mistakes throughout that led to the outcome.
“I could point to at least five easy shots in the first half that we should make,” he said. “We really didn’t lose this game in the last two minutes. We lost it in a couple of areas, which include missing easy shots and not having good defensive formation in transition, which led to two or three easy ones for them. That combination is hard to overcome.”
The Rebels dropped to 4-7 overall and are 1-1 in the Southern Athletic Conference. They will return to the court Friday for a home game against Cannelton.
Lanesville is 7-5 and 3-0 in the SAC. The Eagles will be back in action Friday at Christian Academy of Indiana before returning home to host Orleans on Saturday.
Lanesville 12 13 18 15 – 58
South Central 9 7 12 23 – 51
Lanesville (7-5, 3-0 SAC) – Connor Nolot 17, Trip Dillion III 15, Ethan Schickle 9, Justin Bailey 7, Mason Miller 4, Aston Smith 3, Jacob Wernert 2, Jonas Powers 1.
South Central (4-7, 1-1) – Lucas Stewart 18, Dylan Patterson 12, Austin Tyree 8, Maddox Baker 6, Wesley Wilson 5, Clay Thomas 2.
3-point goals – Lanesville 7 (Nolot 3, Bailey 2, Schickle 1, Smith 1); South Central 7 (Baker 2, Stewart 2, Tyree 2, Wilson 1).