By KEVIN WEAKS
While Obion Central was shooting itself into the quarterfinals, South Gibson was shooting down its season.
The Rebels hit 17-of-28 2-point baskets and 25-of-28 free throws and took advantage of miss after miss at the line by SG to claim a 68-56 win in the play-in round of the District 13AA Tournament Saturday night at Dyersburg.
Now, the seventh-seeded Rebels will play No. 2 seed Westview in the second of two quarterfinal games at the Chargers’ gym at 8 p.m. Tuesday in another win-or-go-home game.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s by one point or 12, a win at this time of the year lets you move on,” OC head coach Bill Kail said. “Our kids are excited about playing Westview again, so we’ll see what happens.”
OC certainly hopes its shooting touch makes the trip.
Despite going 3-of-15 on 3-pointers and missing three layup tries to start the second half, the Rebels were on target more often than not.
Bryan Morris was the top sharpshooter as he scored 26 points, hitting 11-of-12 free throws, while also grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out five assists. Shaw Logan added 13 points and five assists.
Brett Scillion pulled down eight rebounds before fouling out, and Zach King had four steals to go with nine points.
“I’ve told our kids many times that layups and free throws win a lot of ballgames,” Kail said. “The three missed layups could have hurt us, but we were able to make shots and free throws and move on.”
While Central was really good, the Hornets were really bad.
South Gibson fell behind by double digits early in the first quarter and stayed down the rest of the half.
Scillion and Logan each hit a 3-pointer as the Rebels jumped out to a 10-3 lead at 3:50 of the first quarter, and then King pulled up in the lane for a 16-5 advantage.
King’s 3-point play at 4:29 of the second period made it 27-13, but then South Gibson began to rally somewhat as Jordan Reeder scored twice inside to get the Hornets within 29-22 at the two-minute mark.
SG could not keep pace, though, as OC closed on a 6-2 mini-run for a 35-24 halftime lead. Logan and King each had nine points in the half, while Morris had eight, including 6-of-6 free throws, for OC. Adonis Richardson hit a pair of threes in putting up 10 points for the Hornets.
A nice comeback to begin the second half, where the Hornets took advantage of some rare Rebel misfires, had the margin down to six points at 38-32 on a Carlos Walden 3-pointer at 6:12.
SG then missed three times from beyond the arc, while Central continued to attack the basket, eventually going back up by double digits at 11 points. Scillion flashed open along the baseline for a layup at 4:31 for a 43-32 lead.
The Hornets continued to stay close, however, trailing just 49-42 at the end of the third quarter and twice coming as close as three points early in the fourth period. But, South Gibson missed 5-of-6 free throws at one point, and then Morris hit three times in four chances at the line via a SG foul and technical to put the game out of reach at 66-56 with 56 seconds to play.
“That’s a big difference in comfort zone,” Kail said of SG’s comeback. “Give their guys credit for coming back. But what I liked about our guys is that they didn’t quit. We shot really well from the line, and that’s good this time of the year. We need to shoot a little better from the three. We’re going to need that shot come Tuesday.”
Richardson led the Hornets with 15 points.
Published in The Messenger 2.13.12