Trimble County’s surprise decision to slow down the pace threw Southwestern for a loop and allowed the Raiders to build an 11-10 lead late in the first quarter of their showdown in Hanover on Wednesday.
But it didn’t take long for Southwestern to figure out what the Raiders were doing and once that happened, the Rebels were off to the races.
Southwestern closed the first quarter on a 10-0 run in less than two minutes, extended that blitz to 23-0 and rolled to an 82-44 win in boys basketball on Wednesday.
Southwestern coach Zac Nussbaum noted that the Trimble team the Rebels had scouted played a much higher tempo game than the one they saw in the first quarter. He admitted that it took a few minutes for Southwestern to adjust.
“They’re usually helter-skelter, pressing you and trapping you and when they came out in a half-court set I was like, ‘this is different,’ ” Nussbaum said. “But our boys did a great job of adjusting. We went to a 2-3 and I thought that turned the game.”
Southwestern (18-4) could do little offensively in the game’s first six minutes as Trimble’s five-guard lineup gave the Rebels fits. However, Nussbaum’s move to bring in 6-foot-4 Parker Davis changed the complexion of the game.
A Tate Ogburn basket with 2:42 left in the first put Trimble ahead 11-10 but it was moer than a full quarter — Ogburn’s basket with 2:35 left in the second — before the Raiders scored again. Southwestern, meanwhile, took over the game, ripping off the 23-0 run that staked the Rebels to a 33-11 lead.
The rest of the game was academic. Trimble (5-11), trailed 39-16 at halftime and only briefly cut the deficit under 20 before falling behind by as many as 38 (73-35) late in the game.
Davis finished the game with 17 points and six rebounds while junior Zach Cole had an impressive double-double of 14 points and 13 rebounds while also dishing out five assists.
“He’s just a winner and will do whatever it takes for us to win,” Nussbaum said of Cole. “If that means guarding the other team’s best player or if that means knocking down shots and getting rebounds, he’ll do it. He sees the floor so well. I’m not afraid to make him a point-forward next year.”
Overall, 10 different players scored in the game for the Rebels. Austin Kramer and Matthew Williams added 10 points each while Foster Mefford had a near triple-double of nine points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Kramer also had seven steals and six assists.
James Thomas Wilcoxson scored 18 points to lead Trimble while Ogburn had 12 points and nine rebounds. Dalton Penick scored nine points for the Raiders.
Southwestern returned to action on Friday night at South Dearborn to wrap up the regular season. The Rebels will then open the Class 2A Sectional Tournament on their home floor on Tuesday when Southwestern hosts Switzerland County.
Trimble’s game at Carroll County on Friday was canceled after a positive COVID-19 test within the Carroll program. The Raiders return to action on Wednesday when they host Gallatin County in a key 31st District seed game.