A less gracious high school basketball coach than Maynard Lewis might have gone the "told-you-so" route Tuesday night.

His Terre Haute South team had been throttled by Covenant Christian on Friday in a preseason scrimmage, but Lewis said then that there was no reason to worry.

Judging by Tuesday night's 69-45 win over visiting Cloverdale, he was correct.

"It's always great to get a win," Lewis said after the game. "The kids played hard and really moved the ball. It was a step in the right direction."

The difference?

"In the scrimmage we were going to use everybody [with a scripted substitution pattern]," Lewis said. "The guys got solid minutes tonight. They weren't yanked in and out."

"Tonight we played more as a unit," senior T.J. Baker said in agreement, after leading the Braves with 22 points on 11-for-13 shooting. "The ball was moving really nice. . . . Scrimmages and real games are two different environments."

"We work hard in practice," said South sophomore Amariyae Wilson. "We worked on those mistakes [from Friday night] and once we got in a game, we executed real well."

South jumped out to a 13-3 lead Tuesday, and it was 16-8 after a quarter. Early in the second period, however, the Clovers put together a 7-0 run — a driving basket by Nolan Kelley, a 3-pointer by Brady Koosman and an inside basket by Kyle Thomas — and the visitors were within 18-16.

"We went against a disciplined team tonight," Lewis said.

If there was a thought that the Braves might buckle, however, that thought went away quickly. South scored the next 20 points — eight by Baker and five by first-half sparkplug Wilson — and the lead was suddenly 38-16. Kyle Thomas hit a 3-pointer to close out the half, but 38-19 was as close as it got the rest of the way.

"We cut it to two, and then [the Braves] went into a half-court trap," coach Patrick Rady of the Clovers said afterward. "It took us four or five possessions to get into something."

In addition to Baker, the Braves got 12 points from Wilson who, in what may have been his first varsity game, came off the bench with 5-for-7 shooting and 12 points in the first half; 11 from Brayden Turner, who should probably not be left alone in the corner; and 10 from Cordell Hanes. One could say Hanes, who also had five rebounds and five assists, had a quiet game, but his play spoke loudly in both of South's first-half explosions.

"After I hit the first [3-pointer], I started feeling in a groove," Wilson said after the game.

"These kids are unselfish, they listen to coaching and they're fun to coach," Lewis said.

Kyle Thomas had 31 of the 45 points scored by the Clovers, who were without returning regular Walker Sims, and it was very much a struggle for him to get those points.

"This is why we schedule this game, to go against strength and quickness," Rady said. "It rattled us, but it will make us better in March."

And from the South perspective?

"If we keep working hard in practice, and keep improving as a team, we'll be all right," Baker predicted.

CLOVERDALE (45) — K.Thomas 8-19 10-16 31, Dickison 0-1 0-2 0, Ashcraft 0-5 0-0 0, Kelley 2-11 4-6 8, Koosman 1-3 0-0 3, Gill 1-1 1-2 3, Jones 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 12-41 FG, 15-26 FT, 45 TP.

TERRE HAUTE SOUTH (69) — Baker 11-14 0-0 22, Reddy 1-1 0-1 2, Hanes 3-5 4-4 10, J.Thomas 0-2 0-0 0, Turner 4-7 0-0 11, Comer 1-1 1-3 3, Wilson 5-8 0-0 12, Aphalone 2-9 1-3 5, Rutledge 0-4 0-0 0, Wade 0-1 0-0 0, Wilkins 0-1 2-2 2, Bacon 1-1 0-1 2. Totals 28-54 FG, 8-14 FT, 69 TP.

Cloverdale=8=11=11=15=—=45

Terre Haute South=16=22=18=13=—=69

3-point shooting — Cloverdale 6-21 (K.Thomas 5-12, Koosman 1-2, Kelley 0-3, Ashcraft 0-4), THS 5-24 (Turner 3-5, Wilson 2-5, J.Thomas 0-1, Wade 0-1, Baker 0-2, Hanes 0-2, Rutledge 0-3, Aphalone 0-5). Total fouls — Cloverdale 17, THS 20. Fouled out — Ashcraft. Turnovers — Cloverdale 13, THS 13. Rebounds — Cloverdale 31 (Ashcraft 5, K.Thomas 4, Dickison 4, Kelley 3, Koosman 2, Gill 2, Jones, Team 10), THS 41 (Reddy 7, Baker 5, Hanes 5, Bacon 5, Aphalone 4, Turner 3, Comer 3, Wilson 3, J.Thomas 2, Wade, Team 3). Assists — Cloverdale 6 (Ashcraft 2, K.Thomas, Dickison, Kelley, Gill), THS 19 (Hanes 5, Baker 3, Reddy 2, J.Thomas 2, Turner 2, Wilson 2, Aphalone 2, Rutledge). Steals — Cloverdale 7 (Kelley 4, K.Thomas, Ashcraft, Koosman), THS 5 (Hanes, Wilson, Aphalone, Rutledge, Wilkins). Blocks — Cloverdale 1 (K.Thomas), THS 2 (Wade, Wilkins).

Next — Terre Haute South (1-0) plays Saturday at Ben Davis, junior varsity starting at noon. Cloverdale (0-1) is at Edgewood on Dec. 6.

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