TERRE HAUTE —
When Terre Haute South’s junior varsity high school basketball team let host Evansville North score the first 18 points of the second half Friday night, it wasn’t a big problem. The Braves led 41-11 at halftime.
When the South varsity let the Huskies get the last 19 points of the second quarter, however, it proved fatal — and more than the eventual final margin in North’s 71-55 win. Playing without leading scorer Jeffrey Turner, who had been ill all week, and valuable reserve Shane Stanley, still bothered with an ankle injury, the Braves literally had the game stolen from them Friday.
The quick-handed Huskies were credited with 19 steals, nine of them in the game-changing second-quarter run and many of the rest when South made second-half comeback attempts.
Trailing 36-15 at intermission, the Braves were still 20 points behind early in the third quarter when those rallies began.
A 12-5 run got South within 46-33, but a steal and layup threatened to break that momentum. At 48-36, turnovers let the home team get back-to-back baskets, and it was 52-38 at the third-quarter break.
Still the Braves kept coming. Four straight points by Kevaris Gregory cut the lead to 55-47, and a steal by Logan Steward and his feed to Timmy Herrin for a layup had South within six points.
Jaylen Chambers of the Huskies nailed a 3-pointer at the other end seconds later, however, and C.J. Hedgepeth got a steal and basket that had North up 60-49. The Braves got a 3-pointer from Gregory to again come within eight, but the home team put the game away with an 11-0 run.
Herrin led South in scoring with 14 points, the only Brave in double figures. Steward had five assists and Gregory led with six rebounds. South lost the turnover battle 24-14.
Chambers had 25 for Evansville North, with Damar Young adding 13 and Mike Johnson 10.
Young hit a pair of 3-pointers as the Huskies went on an early 8-0 run for a 10-2 lead, but South got back within 11-10, then 14-12, then 17-15 when Preston Tofaute opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer. That proved to be the Braves’ last basket of the first half, however, and in that second period South had 11 turnovers and only five field goal attempts.