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Thomas’ 35 not enough against No. 10 Southwestern

Thomas’ 35 not enough against No. 10 Southwestern
Thomas’ 35 not enough against No. 10 Southwestern
South Central sophomore guard Cole Thomas, right, tries to the rim despite a block attempt by Southwestern (Hanover)’s Brady Cook during the host Rebels’ 85-69 loss to the Class 2A #10 Rebels’ on Saturday night. Thomas was red-hot from the field despite the loss, posting a career-high 35 points. Photo by Brandon Miniard
By Brandon Miniard, Sports Writer, [email protected]

Prior to the South Central boys’ basketball team taking the floor at home on Saturday night, South Central Junior-Senior High School used some pre-game time to hold its annual staff appreciation night.

Once festivities concluded, a battle of Rebels took place as they hosted Class 2A No. 10 Southwestern (Hanover). The junior varsity squads provided an opener equivalent to a sectional championship game as the hosts defeated their visitors in overtime.

An encore of such a tight contest was not on the docket for the host Rebels, however. Despite a career-best 35-point onslaught by sophomore guard Cole Thomas, the Rebels faltered against Southwestern, which used a combined 51 points between the “Peytons” — Peyton Gwin and Peyton Cloud — to lead the visiting Rebels to an 85-69 victory.

The opening quarter gave the impression of an evenly-matched contest as Thomas led the hosts with 13 points against 12 points from Gwin. Kiper posted seven points to round out South Central’s opening offense, while Jamison Lewis added four points along with buckets from Cloud, Claytin Sontag and Brady Cook to give the visiting Rebels a slim 22-20 edge.

That gap began to expand in the second quarter, courtesy of seven points from Lewis, six from Gwin and a bucket apiece for Cloud and Landon Kidwell. The Rebels countered with six points from Thomas and a triple from sophomore Tanner Smith. Smith and senior guard Ty Jones had issues finding the bottom of the net from the charity stripe as they sank a combined three free throws in nine attempts, leaving the half-time margin at 39-32 in favor of Southwestern.

A number of missed shots and turnovers ailed the host Rebels in the third quarter, but they were still able to produce 11 points from Thomas, four from Kiper and a deuce from Jones.

Their visitors took advantage of their mistakes with eight points from Sontag, six points apiece from Cloud and Gwin and four points from Lewis to expand their advantage to 63-49.

South Central had a more diverse offensive attack in the final period, as sophomore guard Jarrett Ferree and junior center Ethan Hedden led the way with five points each, along with four apiece from Kiper and Thomas and a pair of Jones freebies. It wasn’t enough to close the deficit, especially against a trio of triples and two free throws from Cloud, six points from Gwin, a three-pointer from Jackson Taylor and a pair of Lewis free throws to seal the visiting Rebels’ 85-69 victory.

Southwestern had four players score in double figures, with Lewis’ 17 and Sontag’s 10 flanking Gwin’s 30 and Cloud’s 21. Kiper’s 14 points was the only other double-digit scoring for the host Rebels while Ferree, Smith, Jones and Hedden each chipped in five. The numbers at the free-throw line didn’t help South Central’s cause as the team made only 55% of their foul shots against Southwestern’s 87.5%.

South Central looked to get back on track yesterday (Tuesday) when it traveled to Sellersburg to face off with sectional-rival Rock Creek Community Academy. The confrontation with Lions is the opener of a three-game week as the Rebels return home on Friday night to host Southern Athletic Conference-foe Henryville, followed by traveling to Clarksville on Saturday to confront the Generals. Both weekend contests are slated to tip at 7:30 p.m.

Southwestern (Han.) 22 17 24 22 — 85
South Central 20 12 17 20 — 69
Southwestern (Hanover) (15-2) — Gwin 30, Cloud 21, Lewis 17, Sontag 10, Taylor 3, Cook 2, Kidwell 2.
South Central (9-5) — Thomas 35, Kiper 14, Ferree 5, Jones 5, Hedden 5, Smith 5.
3-point goals — Southwestern (Hanover) 7 (Cloud 3, Gwin 2, Lewis 1, Taylor 1); South Central 6 (Thomas 4, Kiper 1, Smith 1).