News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 13, 2012

Braves take control: North Central’s youth not up to South’s challenge

Todd Golden
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — North Central’s boys basketball team has eight players on its varsity roster. Only three are upperclassmen.

That ought to give a good indication of what the Class A Thunderbirds were up against when they moved up in class to battle Class 4A Terre Haute South in a rare Wednesday varsity boys basketball game.

The more experienced Braves imposed their will on the youthful T-Birds and quickly turned the game into a rout. South ultimately prevailed 80-39.

Jeffrey Turner led South (2-3) with 23 points. Timmy Herrin added 18 and converted his first six shots from the field. Greg Newton had eight rebounds for the Braves. Gavin Stanifer paced North Central (1-5) with nine points.

South substituted liberally. The Braves’ starters played the first four minutes in the first three quarters and all of the final period.

“We’ve only been going seven-deep and we’re going to need those 8-9-10 guys at some point this season. Tonight, they got out there and we wanted to see who we could count on. They needed a chance to play,” South coach Scott Ridge said.

A 16-0 run in the early part of the first quarter put the game out of reach. The T-Birds couldn’t handle South’s suffocating ball pressure and would turn it over nine times in the opening period alone. North Central would ultimately have 22 turnovers overall.

“We’re a very young team. We started three sophomores, a freshman and a senior tonight. We were very intimidated early. We don’t play many 4A schools. We aren’t used to playing guys who are quicker than we are,” North Central coach Ryan Kamman said.

Turner continued his prodigious early-season scoring as he had seven of South’s first 18 points. Other Braves got in the act too. Shane Stanley had three first quarter 3-pointers. Herrin had six points in the opening period.

North Central cut down the turnovers in the second quarter, but the pace favored the Braves. South scored 27 points in the quarter, led by Turner’s 10 points in the period. South led 51-14 at halftime.

The T-Birds got the hang of it a bit in the third period, outscoring South 15-12 in a quarter where South played its starters for about half the quarter. South won the second half, but by just a 29-25 margin.

“North Central brought it and we didn’t. I thought we got outplayed in the second half. It keeps our kids down to Earth. We did it for a half, but we didn’t do it for a full game,” Ridge said.

Though the loss stung, it was a chance for North Central to play against a level of competition it doesn’t get in the SouthWestern Indiana Athletic Conference. Kamman figures the benefits will pay off down the line.

“We settled down and competed better in the second half. It’s what we’re capable of,” Kamman said. “It’ll be good for us in the long run. It’s good to play teams better than us that show us where we need to get to.”

South plays three games in the next four days and four in the next six. It’s a stretch that should prepare the Braves for the rigors of the Pizza Hut Classic later this month and the postseason in March.

“It’s a good setup for us. That’s what I like about this week. It’s a tournament type of schedule. The ultimate goal is the tournament and we want to keep getting better until we get there,” Ridge said.

South plays at West Vigo and North Central plays host to county rival Sullivan on Friday. The Braves play at Evansville Reitz on Saturday.

NORTH CENTRAL (39) — Stanifer 3-13 2-2 9, Jewell 2-7 0-2 5, Lebeda 0-3 0-0 0, Drake 1-3 1-3 3, Peterson 2-4 4-4 8, Nikirk 3-6 2-2 8, Stucker 1-6 0-0 3, Greene 1-4 1-3 3, Taylor 0-0 0-0 0, Adams 0-0 0-0 0. 13-46 FG, 10-16 FT. 39 TP.

TERRE HAUTE SOUTH (80) — Gregory 1-3 0-0 2, Shipley 3-5 2-2 8, P. Tofaute 0-1 0-0 0, Herrin 9-15 0-0 18, Turner 9-13 2-3 23, Stanley 3-4 0-0 9, Wolfe 2-7 1-2 6, S. Tofaute 1-4 0-0 2, Newton 2-5 0-0 4, Fuson 1-4 1-2 3, Minnett 1-4 2-2 5. 23-51 FG, 8-11 FT, 80 TP.

North Central    8    6    15    10    —    39

Terre Haute South    24    27    12    17    —    80

3-point goals — NC 3-18 (Stanifer 1-7, Jewell 1-5, Stucker 1-4, Lebeda 0-1, Drake 0-1), THS 8-20 (Turner 3-4, Stanley 3-3, Wolfe 1-4, Minnett 1-2, Gregory 0-2, S. Tofaute 0-2, Fuson 0-2, Shipley 0-1). Rebounds — NC 26* (Peterson 7, Team RB 5*, Stanifer 4, Greene 4, Lebeda 2, Drake 2, Jewell, Stucker), THS 40* (Newton 8, Herrin 5, Stanley 4, Wolfe 4, S. Tofaute 4, Fuson 4, Team RB 4*, Gregory 2, Shipley 2, Turner 2, Minnett 2). Steals — NC 5 (Stanifer 2, Jewell, Nikirk, Stucker), THS 14 (Turner 4, Gregory 2, Shipley, P. Tofaute, Herrin, Stanley, Wolfe, S. Tofaute, Newton, Fuson). Blocks — NC 1(Drake), THS 2 (Herrin, Newton). Turnovers — NC 22, THS 13 Total fouls — NC 10, THS 14.

JV — TH South 39 (Minnett 9), North Central 11 (McClure 3).

Freshmen — TH South 38 (Deady 10), West Vigo 34 (Rollings 9).

Next — TH South (2-3) plays at West Vigo and North Central (1-5) plays host to Sullivan on Friday.