Southwestern finally put away pesky Scottsburg late in the game and then pulled away for a 74-53 win in boys basketball Saturday at home.
The Rebels led virtually the entire way — and for much of that time by double-digits — but Scottsburg wouldn’t allow Southwestern to turn the game into a rout. It wasn’t until the final four minutes that the Rebels finally pulled away for the lopsided win.
Despite its struggles to put the game away, Southwestern coach Zac Nussbaum was pleased with his team’s effort against a program the Rebels have traditionally struggled against.
“If we had hit our free throws we could have made it a lot easier,” Nussbaum said. “Scottsburg is a quality team and I know people look at that record, but they had Bedford on the ropes, they played New Albany well. Once they put two halves together, they’re going to be a scary team.”
It was free-throw shooting that kept Southwestern from dominating the game and allowed Scottsburg to at least feel like it had a shot to climb back into the game. The Rebels went just 12-of-25 from the stripe, a large departure from the way the team has been shooting for the past month.
But despite the struggles at the line, Southwestern was in control most of the way. The Rebels trailed 6-4 early but used a 9-0 run to go ahead and led 18-11 after the first. After leading just 30-25 at the half. Southwestern scored 22 points in both the third and fourth quarters to finally pull away.
While the Rebels (17-4) may have struggled from the free-throw line, they were just fine from beyond the arc, hitting 10 3-pointers in the game to end any hopes at a Scottsburg comeback. Matthew Williams and Billy Eccles each hit three treys in the game with Williams’ 21 points leading all scorers.
“I’m a big believer in the law of percentages and if you’re a certain percentage 3-point shooter, at some point, that water is going to find its level,” Nussbaum said. “It is happening with these guys and the more that they see it go in, the more confident that they are going to get.”
Eccles and Foster Mefford each scored 13 points while Austin Kramer had 12 and Parker Davis eight for the Rebels.
Hayden Cutter scored 19 points to lead Scottsburg (4-16) and in the process became just the second junior in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark in his career.
On Friday, Southwestern posted a big 77-63 win at Jennings County. The Rebels found themselves trailing 29-27 at halftime before exploding for 30 points in the third to seize a 57-42 lead. Southwestern then cruised from there.
Kramer scored 22 points and Mefford had 20 to lead the Rebels while Zach Cole scored 19 and Williams had 11.
Carson McNulty scored 21 points to lead Jennings County (10-8).
Southwestern wraps up the regular season with three games this week, starting with a home game against Switzerland County tonight. The Rebels then host Trimble County on Wednesday and head to South Dearborn on Friday.