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Defending 2A champs overwhelm Rebels

Defending 2A champs overwhelm Rebels
Defending 2A champs overwhelm Rebels
South Central sophomore guard Cole Thomas puts up a floater amid a sea of Providence defenders, during the Rebels’ 49-26 loss to the Class 2A No.-7 Pioneers on Thursday. Thomas led the Rebels with 12 points. Photo by Brandon Miniard
By Brandon Miniard, Sports Writer, [email protected]

After having a strong middle point of the season, South Central looks to be reverting back to the inconsistency of yesteryear.

From Dec. 10 to Jan. 13, the Rebels looked to be one of the hottest teams in the state, as they won eight of their nine games in that span. Since their 70-40 victory over Southern Athletic Conference-rival Crothersville, the Rebels have alternated outcomes in its following four games.

Coming off a 66-49 victory over Clarksville, the Rebels hoped to get a new streak going when they traveled to confront defending 2A state champion and seventh-ranked Providence. The host Pioneers had other plans as they took command from the jump to cruise to a 49-26 victory.

The Pioneers needed little time — only four seconds in fact — to take the lead for good on a transition bucket from Casey Kaelin. Kaelin had eight points in the opening frame, flanked by a three-pointer from Grant Seebold and buckets from Noah Lovan and Brian Wall. The normally strong Rebels’ offense struggled out of the gate, managing only buckets from junior Christian Kiper and sophomore Cole Thomas, making the Pioneers’ early lead 15-4.

The Rebels recovered from the stagnant opening frame with a solid second quarter as Thomas posted six points followed by a pair of Kiper free throws and a bucket from junior center Ethan Hedden. Kaelin kept the Pioneers at a distance with seven points to send them into the locker room with a 22-14 edge.

Halftime didn’t treat the Rebels very well, as they began the second half similarly to the first, with only buckets from Kiper and sophomore guard Jarrett Ferree to show for it. The Pioneers had no such issue coming out to resume play with four points apiece from Kaelin and Jaden Johnson, a triple from Carter Lannan and a deuce from Lovan to expand the hosts’ advantage to 35-18.

The final period hardly treated the Rebels any better as Thomas posted four points alongside buckets from Kiper and junior Caden Bogan. The Pioneers kept their foot on the gas as they got five points from Lovan, a triple from Seebold and buckets from Kaelin, Drew Kelly and Elijah Fuller Tucker to seal their 49-26 victory.

Kaelin paced all scorers with 21 points, while Lovan added nine. Thomas led the Rebels with 12 points followed by eight from Kiper and two apiece from Ferree, Bogan and Hedden for a season-low 26 points as a team.

The Rebels will return to action Saturday when they travel to Cannelton to face the Bulldogs at 2:30 p.m.

South Central 4 10 4 8 – 26
Providence 15 7 13 14 – 49
South Central (11-7) – Thomas 12, Kiper 8, Bogan 2, Ferree 2, Hedden 2.
Providence (13-3) – Kaelin 21, Lovan 9, Seebold 6, Johnson 4, Lannan 3, Tucker 2, Kelly 2, Wall 2.
3-point goals – Providence 5 (Kaelin 2, Seebold 2, Lovan 1).