Terre Haute South got off to a hot start again Friday night, but this time the Braves hung on to earn the victory.
Switching defenses and getting balanced and timely scoring from six different players, South snapped a three-game losing streak with an impressive 50-47 victory over Ben Davis. The Braves improved to 2-4 in the Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference, handing the Giants their fifth loss of the season.
“The kids played well tonight. They played their butts off from the get-go. They played hard at the start, they played hard through some adversity and then they sunk down at the end and got a couple of stops [on defense] and got a couple of big rebounds,” South coach Scott Ridge said.
Jeffrey Turner led South’s balanced offense with 15 points, followed by Conner Shipley with 14 and Kevaris Gregory with 10 points. Plus, South got a game-high nine rebounds from Tim Herrin.
Turner, who started the night averaging 25.7 points per game, handled the basketball at point on offense and defended the post on defense. He scored 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter. He had five steals and four rebounds, too.
“I thought J ran the team for us tonight,” ridge said speaking of Jeffrey Turner. “J had total control of that game. The 15 points don’t do justice to how good a game he played. He’s gone for 38 [points] and not played as well as he played tonight,” Ridge added.
Ben Davis (10-5, 3-3 in MIC) was led by Kendall Broome with 12 points and Jordan King with 10. South held 6-3 Tony Wills with eight points and 6-6 Brennan Gillis with seven.
South jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the first three minutes of the game and held an 18-3 lead at the end of the quarter. Gregory hit three 3-point shots in the opening quarter and Shipley netted two buckets as the Braves hit 7-of-11 shots from the floor.
Playing man-to-man defense, the Braves limited the Giants to 8-13 shooting in the opening period and controlled the boards 10-3.
South was whistled for eight fouls in the first half, giving Ben Davis opportunities to cut into the margin. The Giants were 2-5 from the free throw line in the first half.
Defense and timely baskets allowed South to hold on for a 26-17 halftime lead. Buckets by Turner, Spence Tofaute and Logan Steward and a pair of free throws by Shipley accounted for the Braves’ scoring in the second period.
Switching from man-to-man into a 2-3 zone, the Braves kept the Giants off balance through the third period. South scored just four points in the quarter, going 5 minutes and 39 second between baskets by Shipley and Herrin, but gave up just 12 points and still led 30-29 going into the fourth quarter.
It was the fourth quarter where a different South team emerged. The Braves didn’t crumble when Broome hit a three to put the Giants up 34-32 with 6:45 to play.
The lead changed hands three more times and was tied at 36 and 39. Steward’s two free throws tied the game for the last time at 39-39 with 3:52 left.
Turner put the Braves up for good with two big back-to-back plays. First he called for a clear-out on the left wing and drove by the defender for a lay up fond 41-39 South lead with 3:10 to play.
With South trapping the ball on defense, Turner stepped in for a steal and was fouled. He hit both free throws to give the Braves a 43-39 lead with 2:52 left.
“We played five or six different defenses. We were changing things up on them, switching around where we were. They’re big and strong and physical and if we just sat in one spot I was afraid they might figure us out and really exploit some things with their size,” Ridge said.
Ben Davis cut the margin to 43-42, but Turner was in charge. Turner drove by Ben Davis’ Wills or Gillis, both tried to guard him, two more times in the final two minutes to keep South on top.
Free throws by Gregory and Shipley iced the contest in the final 14 seconds.
TERRE HAUTE SOUTH (50) — Turner 5-8 5-5 15, S. Tofaute 1-3 0-0 2, Herrin 2-5 1-2 5, Shipley 4-7 6-6 14, Gregory 3-7 1-2 10, P.Tofaute 0-0 0-0 0, Steward 1-5 2-2 4, Stanley 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-25 FG, 15-17 FT, 50 TP.
BEN DAVIS (47) — Wills 3-10 1-1 8, Tate 1-2 0-0 2, Gillis 2-5 3-6 7, Beaty 2-3 1-4 6, Broome 5-9 0-0 12, King 4-8 2-3 10, Wilson 0-5 2-2 2, Evans 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-42 FG, 9-16 FT, 47 TP.
Terre Haute South 18 8 4 20 — 50
Ben Davis 13 4 12 18 — 47
3-point goals — THS 3-12 (Gregory 3-7, Turner 0-1, Steward 0-4), BD 4-17 (Broome 2-6, Beaty 1-1, Wills 1-4, King 0-1, Wilson 0-5). Total fouls — THS 16, BD 15. Fouled out — Wills. Turnovers — 14, BD 11. Rebounds: THS 30 (Herrin 9, Gregory 6), BD 21 (Gillis 6). Steals — THS 5 (Turner 5), BD 3.
JV — Ben Davis won 57-38.
Next — Terre Haute South (9-10, 2-4 in MIC) will host North Central of Indianapolis on Feb. 9. Ben Davis (10-5, 3-3 in MIC) plays at Avon tonight.