Lions overpower Rebels
By Brandon Miniard, Sports Writer, [email protected]
As the South Central Rebels took the floor last Tuesday as part of the school’s staff appreciation night, they did so after being deprived of hoops action outside of practice.
After losing 52-35 at West Washington on Jan. 11, the Rebels had to wait exactly two weeks before they took the court against another team. This comes as head coach Greg Robinson is one win shy from 200 for his career.
The long hiatus didn’t help Robinson get any closer to the milestone when the Rebels hosted sectional rival Rock Creek Community Academy. While the hosts made up for a low-scoring first half with a strong offensive second half, it wasn’t enough to overcome the stronger, more physical Lions as they left Elizabeth with a 63-44 victory.
While the Rebels struck the first blow on a jumper from sophomore guard Christian Kiper, the Lions’ counter attack was led by 6-foot-11 center Marial Diper, whose opening dunk was the beginning of an eight-point period. Jaleb Treat and LaDarius Wallace added four points apiece, while Keajuan Beco chipped in a bucket. Kiper added to his opening frame with a three-pointer followed by a bucket and free throw from sophomore forward Ethan Hedden to finish off the quarter with an 18-8 Lions’ edge.
Despite missing three consecutive freebies in the second quarter, Rebels’ freshman guard Cole Thomas scored alongside a bucket from sophomore guard Caden Bogan. Diper continued his dominant first half with another seven points, followed by buckets from Treat, Wallace and Deco. Jonathan Boggs rounded out the Lions’ second quarter with two free throws to take a 33-15 advantage into halftime.
Wallace, Diper and Treat continued their wicked ways offensively to start the second half as they comprised the Lions’ third-quarter offense with eight, seven and six points, respectively. Kiper was similarly scintillating in the period as he led the Rebels with nine points, six coming off three-pointers. Thomas added another triple, while junior Kole Stewart added a bucket. The period concluded with Diper converting on a putback right at the buzzer. While the bright red lights shined behind the glass backboard, it did little to deter Diper from converting the and-one to put the Lions up 54-29.
The Rebels continued to heat up offensively in the final period as Kiper finished off his hot-shooting night with another nine points while junior Ty Jones joined the fray with six points. It wasn’t enough against the Lions, who kept their distance courtesy of a Diper dunk, buckets from Treat and Boggs and a combined 3-for-4 effort from the charity stripe from Beco and Gavin Gullion to finish off a 63-44 final.
Kiper was the only Rebel to reach double figures with a team-high 23 points. Diper led all scorers with 24 points, while Treat and Wallace each added 14.
The Rebels finished off the week by hosting Clarksville on Saturday. With the 63-55 victory over the Generals, the Rebels got Robinson the 200th victory of his 20-year head coaching career.