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South outlasts Eagles 46-42

South outlasts Eagles 46-42
South outlasts Eagles 46-42
South Central junior Christian Kiper, middle, skies for a shot over Jaxson Payne (32) and Jackson Schneider (23) of Lanesville in the first half of Friday night’s 46-42 Rebels’ victory. Kiper led all scorers with 23 points, with Lanesville senior Maddex Miller marking 18 points. Photo by Alan Stewart
By Alan Stewart, Contributing Writer

Mix a full moon, a packed crowd in a steamy gymnasium and a good, old-fashioned, Indiana high school basketball rivalry barn-burner on a chilly Friday night in January and what do you get? South Central 46, Lanesville 42.

The visiting Rebels weren’t great, but behind a 23-point night by Christian Kiper they had just enough mustard to turn back the winless hosts in a tussle that wasn’t decided until the final seconds.

“This was South Central and Lanesville. That’s all you need to say,” South Central coach Greg Robinson said. “We came into the game with the idea that we wanted to get the pace at a high level. We wanted to play fast. (Lanesville) did a great job with their zone and controlling the pace for most of the game.”

The Eagles didn’t always play like a winless team as they set the pace for much of the first half of the game, trailed by one at the intermission and had it tied with 3:34 left only to fall short to their rival.

“Missed opportunities,” Lanesville coach Mikel Miller said. “Basketball is a game of runs, and they’d make a run and we’d make one and answer and come back. At the end of the half, we had a chance (to score) and turned it over and gave them the ball back. Those little things there, the details, they matter in a four-point game. Just too many offensive rebounds that we gave up, as well. Their kids played hard, our kids played hard and I don’t want to take anything away from our kids because they played just as hard. We just have to find a way.”

Kiper opened the scoring for the Rebels with a bucket inside, but Lanesville’s Jackson Schneider came through with seven straight points to give his club a 7-4 lead. South Central rallied to hold an 11-9 advantage at the first stop.

A trey by Kiper gave his club a 14-9 advantage, but Maddex Miller scored four straight points to trim the deficit to one. In the opening half of the second quarter, Lanesville misfired six straight times from the charity stripe. The Eagles didn’t sink a charity toss until 1:33 left in the half on a pair of freebies from Gene Klusmeier.

Shortly after, Schneider set a screen and took Kole Stewart’s shoulder to his mouth. A trail of blood followed Schneider to the other end of the court, which led to an almost seven-minute delay in the game for a cleanup. A missed free throw by South Central set the half-time mark at 19-18 in favor of the visitors.

The Rebels surged to their largest lead of the contest, 24-18, on a deuce from Cole Thomas, who was held to just four points on the night, and a triple from Jarrett Ferree. After another three-minute delay to clean more blood from the hardwood, Miller ended the skid with a basket. Kiper answered at the other end, but Lanesville countered with a 11-2 spurt: Ethan Patterson bombed one from downtown, followed by a triple from Jack Crosby and Miller had a two and three that sandwiched a bucket by Kiper, giving the hosts a 31-28 lead.

The quarter ended with two scores from Kiper, making it 32-31 after three periods, then Kiper led off the fourth with a goal.

Lanesville’s Jack Crosby came through with his second of the night on a basket from distance, tying the affair at 34-all. The Rebels went up by four on baskets from Thomas and Bogan (who scored all seven of his points in the final period), but Lanesville tied it again, thanks to Miller and two frees from Schneider. Back-to-back old-fashioned threes from Kiper and Miller tied it for the last time with 3:54 left in the game.

From there, the Rebels got four points from Bogan and held the hosts without a field goal the rest of the way to the final horn.

“I’m really proud of our kids for fighting back. We made a couple of runs to get that lead up to where it was controllable,” Robinson said. “We had a guy they couldn’t guard tonight, and we tried to take advantage of that when we can. Christian is really, really good tonight, and he got to the basket and was really strong with his finishes. Sometimes you’ve just got to get on a horse and ride it.”

Lanesville, which lost Saturday night 60-50 to West Washington to drop to 0-10 for the worst start since a 0-11 skid to start the 1995-1996 campaign, is playing better even though the scoreboard isn’t always showing it, Coach Miller said.

During that contest, Crosby and Maddex Miller scored 12 points apiece with Schneider adding 11 points to go along with double-digit rebounds. Jaxson Payne added six, Nolyn Hall had five, Ethan Patterson led off the game with his only three points of the night and Braydon Hodges scored two.

“The last four (games) have been better than the first five,” the Eagles’ skipper said. “We had some better practice this week that helped a little bit and gave us momentum tonight. We just have to keep building on it and taking baby steps forward. When you are 0-9, you try to find things that you can grasp on to that you are doing well and build on those things and just try to move forward.

“Defensively, I thought we did a pretty good job at times,” coach Miller said. “I think Cole (Thomas) ended up with four points … We missed some details on Kiper a little bit, but, overall, I was pleased.”

Miller noted that Maddox’s season high of 18 could have come at other games this season had some shots dropped.

“He’s had some other games where he’s had similar looks and shots didn’t fall or he wouldn’t take the shots. I think he was just playing some ball tonight,” Lanesville’s coach said.

For the evening, South Central was 19 of 42 (45%) from the field, 3 of 10 on threes and had eight turnovers while forcing 12 from the Eagles. Lanesville was 14 of 40 (35%) overall, 6 of 19 on triples and barely out-rebounded the Rebels, 29-28. Neither club was efficient at the line, with Lanesville going 8 for 18 (4 of 11 in the first half), while South wasn’t much better at 5 of 11 (3 of 7 in the first half).

“We’ve been shooting a little north of 70% from the line, and that’s not been a problem. It was tonight,” Robinson said. “Our entire shooting tonight wasn’t great. Some of it was Lanesville, and we missed some easy shots. We were fortunate. Lanesville-South Central games are never easy.”

Kiper was the only Rebel in double figures in scoring, with Bogan scoring seven and Ferree adding five points. Lanesville was paced by Miller’s 18 and Schneider’s nine points. Crosby scored all seven of his points in the second half.

On Saturday, South improved to 7-4 on the year with a 60-56 victory against Mitchell. Thomas bounced back with 23 points, and Kiper scored 23. Tanner Smith tacked on 12 points, as well.

The Rebels, who are 1-1 in Southern Athletic Conference play, started a three-game home-stand Tuesday against West Washington (6-4) before taking on Crothersville (3-6) on Friday and No. 8-ranked (Class 2A) Southwestern (Hanover), which is 12-1, the following Saturday.

The Eagles (0-3 SAC) have their work cut out for them as they host No. 13-ranked (Class 1A) Christian Academy of Indiana (6-3) on Friday and travel to Class 1A’s No. 1-ranked club, Orleans (10-1), on Saturday.

South Central     11  8  13  14 – 46
Lanesville      9   9  13  11 – 42
South Central – Kiper 23, Bogan 7, Ferree 5, Thomas 4, Hedden 3, Jones 2, Stewart 2.
Lanesville – Miller 18, Schneider 9, Crosby 7, Hall 3, Patterson 3, Klusmeier 2.
3-point goals – South Central 3 (Ferree 1, Hedden 1, Kiper 1); Lanesville 6 (Crosby 2, Miller 2, Hall 1, Patterson 1).