News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 15, 2012

Sullivan pressure carries day

Craig Pearson
The Tribune-Star

FARMERSBURG — Between Sullivan’s 6-foot-5, 225-pound Jake Kinnaman and the full-court defensive pressure that the Golden Arrows brought, North Central’s young squad was overmatched in a Sullivan County boys high school basketball battle Friday night.

Kinnaman posted 14 points and seven rebounds in the first half before succumbing to foul trouble and Brooks Weszely and Michael Willis and company forced the Thunderbirds into 23 turnovers.

“Jake played hard inside. We got him involved and got him the ball in places he could score. That’s what he’s got to do for us,” Sullivan coach Jeff Moore said.

Andrew Nikirk led the Thunderbirds (1-5) with 14 points, scoring nine in the first half. One of four sophomores playing big minutes for North Central, Nikirk hit a 3-pointer to pull his team within 24-16 with about four minutes to go before the half.

But Sullivan (5-1) stretched a 12-point halftime lead to 19 just two minutes into the second half on its way to a 61-38 victory.

Willis had five of the Arrows’ 18 steals, while Max Gregory added four steals and tied for team-high honors with Kinnaman and Weszely with seven rebounds. Sullivan also had 17 offensive rebounds.

Weszely was the only other Sullivan player in double figures with 11 as nine different players scored. Sullivan shot just 38.9 percent from the field, and struggled with a 12-of-24 mark at the free-throw line.

“I was pretty with how we played defensively. I thought we missed a lot of point-blank shots tonight, a lot of layups,” Moore said, “and didn’t shoot very well from the free-throw line. Our defense won the ballgame for us.”

North Central continued to battle in the second half, going on a 7-2 run with five points from Nikirk and a steal and layup by Austin Jewell.

Sullivan re-asserted itself after that to pull away and head into a second straight rivalry game. Sullivan will take on undefeated Linton, which defeated Shakamak 72-51 on Friday night.

North Central takes a long break to get ready for the Greene County Invitational on Jan. 2.

The Thunderbirds look to learn from their struggles in the early part of the season.

“Turnovers were really big,” coach Ryan Kamman said of Friday’s outcome. “We didn’t do a very good job of handling their pressure. We were way too often a one-pass or two-pass or even a no-pass and shot [offense]. We’ve got to do a better job of making their defense work by being a little more patient. That’s what we’ve been trying to stress. We’re just not doing a very good job of it right now.”



SULLIVAN (61) — Weszely 4-9 3-7 11, Pirtle 2-6 3-4 8, Gregory 1-5 1-2 3, Willis 4-10 1-1 9, Kinnaman 6-8 3-4 15, Hutchcraft 1-7 1-2 4, McPhail 3-5 0-1 6, Perkinson 1-4 0-2 2, King 1-6 0-1 3, Montgomery 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-59 FG, 12-24 FT, 61 TP.

NORTH CENTRAL (38) — Stanifer 4-11 0-0 9, Jewell 1-8 1-2 3, Lebeda 1-3 0-0 2, Drake 0-3 2-5 2, Peterson 1-4 2-2 4, Nikirk 5-9 2-2 14, Greene 1-3 1-3 3, Stucker 0-2 1-2 1. Totals 13-43 FG, 9-16 FT, 38 TP.

Sullivan    15    16    16    14    —    61

North Central    9    10    10    9    —    38

3-point shooting — Sullivan 3-14 (Pirtle 1-4, Weszely 0-1, Gregory 0-1, Willis 0-1, Hutchcraft 1-1, McPhail 0-1, Perkinson 0-1, King 1-4), North Central 3-15 (Stanifer 1-3, Jewell 0-4, Lebeda 0-1, Drake 0-1, Peterson 0-1, Nikirk 2-3, Stucker 0-2). Rebounds — S 40 (Kinnaman 7, Gregory 7, Weszely 7, McPhail 5, Perinson 5), NC 34 (Greene 7, Peterson 6, Nikirk 5, Lebeda 5). Steals — S 18 (Willis 5, Gregory 4, Weszely 3, Kinnaman 2), NC 9 (Stanifer 2, Nikirk 2). Assists — S 9 (Gregory 2, Kinnaman 2, Hutchcraft 2), NC 5 (Stanifer 2). Turnovers — S 15, NC 23. Blocks — S 4 (Weszely, Hutchcraft, McPhail, Perkinson), NC 1 (Peterson). Total fouls — S 18, NC 21. Fouled out — Kinnaman.

JV — Sullivan 44, North Central 22.

Next — Sullivan (5-1) plays host to Linton — a 72-51 winner Friday against Shakamak — tonight. North Central (1-6) plays Shakamak on Jan. 2 in the Greene County Invitational.