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Whitson-Spegal's 24 leads Rebels over Warriors after Henry sidelined by knee
, Courier Staff Writer
Saturday, February 02, 2013 4:00 AM
IN THE SIGHTS: Southwestern’s Darius Whitson-Spegal takes aim for one of his game-high 24 points in the Rebels’ 65-62 win over Scottsburg. (Staff photo by David Hill)
Southwestern's boys came away with a 65-62 basketball win over visiting Scottsburg on a night when the Rebels' leading scorer, Gunnar Henry, went down with a knee injury late in the first quarter.
"We don't yet know the extent of the injury," said Southwestern head coach Andy Firth. "I can't speculate but (the knee) is where they put the ice pack."
The visiting Warriors took an early lead as Christian Evans scored seven quick points. That didn't deter the Rebels, though, as they switched defenses and their offense took off.
Southwestern's key was Darius Whitson-Spegal, scoring nine of his game-high 24 points in the first quarter and, along with teammates Zach Westerfield and Tristan Embs, staked the Rebels to a quick 19-9 lead. The Rebels went on a 17-4 run toward the end of the quarter and led, 24-11, at the break.
"We got off to a good start tonight," Firth said. "But (Scottsburg) didn't go away. They gave it everything they had. They shot, drove and made plays. They stuck with their plan and created turnovers and chaos.
"To our advantage, we were able to maintain the lead even though our free throw shooting (nine-for-22) was off. It seems when we have a good night shooting from the field, our free throw shooting slacks."
The Rebels led by as many as 14 points in the second quarter, when Mackenzy Withered, Tristan Embs and Whitson-Spegal contributed 10 points combined. Southwestern held a 36-24 halftime lead.
Southwestern showed signs of putting the game away in the third period, as a pair of 3-pointers by Withered increased the Rebel lead to 16. The hosts were up, seemingly comfortable, 48-32, after three.
Scottsburg still had fight left, and climbed back in the game, outscoring the Rebels, 11-4 in the first three minutes. Seth Helton scored 10 of his 13 points in the final period and was very instrumental in the comeback efforts.
The game tightened in the final three minutes. A pair of free throws by Helton trimmed Scottsburg's deficit to three (57-54) with 2:30 to go. The Warriors' Gabe Elam made it a two-point game with 56 seconds left.
Down the stretch, Whitson-Spegal hit some key free throws to help the Rebels keep the lead, but the drama continued.
Scottsburg reserve Israel Cook made a 3-pointer that bounced off the rim first to pull the Warriors to within two (64-62) with three seconds to go.
Whitson-Spegal was fouled and made one of his two free throws, giving Scottsburg a chance at the tie. A 3-pointer just before the buzzer missed and the Rebels escaped with the win.
"I think the confidence we had with our offense helped pull us over the hump late," Firth said. "We've got a young offense but we were able to get to the right spots. We executed very well offensively."
Southwestern returns to the hardwood tonight, as it travels to South Ripley. "They're a good team and we seem to play well with them," Firth said.
FRIDAY'S BOYS GAME
SOUTHWESTERN 65, SCOTTSBURG 62
SCOTTSBURG 11 12 8 30 - 62
SOUTHWESTERN 24 12 12 17 - 65
SCOTTSBURG (3-12) - (g)Evans, (f)Hardin 14, (g)Helton 13, Elam 13, Davis 5, Cook 3, (f)Coomer 0, (g)Boswell 0, Boyd 0, Solor 0.
SOUTHWESTERN (5-11) - (g)Whitson-Spegal 24, (f)Withered 15, (f)Embs 8, Perry 7, (g)Westerfield 5, Wyne 4, (g)Henry 2, Hartman 0.
3-Point Goals - Scottsburg 1 (Helton 1), Southwestern 5 (Withered 2 , Whiston-Spegal 1, Westerfield 1, Embs 1). Free Throws - Scottsburg 11-15 (73%), Southwestern 9-22 (41%). Total Fouls - Scottsburg 23, Southwestern 20. Fouled Out - Scottsburg: Evans, Hardin, Southwestern: None. Next Game - Scottsburg hosts Bloomington South tonight, Southwestern visits South Ripley tonight.
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