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GREENSBURG — North Decatur never seemed to find its rhythm against South Decatur in a non-conference rival game where school pride was at stake.
As a result, the Cougars were able to come away with a 57-46 win.
In eight minutes of basketball that saw more combined team fouls than combined team points, both teams struggled as their shots failed to fall. With 5:13 left in the first quarter, North Decatur sophomore Evan Wallpe finally broke the drought, scoring the first two points of the game. The quarter ended with South Decatur leading 5-3.
“We got every shot we wanted early in the game,” North Decatur coach Kyle Nobbe said. “We’ve got to make those shots. It’s simple. Several of those were uncontested. The more shots we missed, the more we’d lose confidence.”
The second quarter saw both teams settle down and make the adjustments they needed to find better shot selection. Trading scores through the first two minutes, Wallpe tied the game at 10. Cougars junior Nick Schwering, playing very tough defense, got a key rebound to and South Decatur senior Devin Taylor scored two to take the lead and keep it. The Cougars (3-4) outscored the Chargers (0-4) 17-9 in the quarter to go into halftime leading 22-12.
“North missed some shots early in the game that they won’t make when we play them later in the season,” South Decatur coach Jordan Stevens. “We’re going to have to do a better job against them and not let them have those easy looks and be stronger in denying the feed in to the post.”
The Cougars came out for the second half more focused and more aggressive, outscoring North Decatur 20-12 in the third quarter. South Decatur was led by senior Chris Johannigman with nine points in the period.
“We talked at halftime that we had to do a better job guarding their team,” Stevens said. “Early on we’d make stops, and they were dead-balls stops. We couldn’t convert. We’re most successful when we transition quickly and push the ball up the court.”
Taylor had 10 points.
Led by sophomore Arek Holloway, the Chargers came alive in the fourth quarter. Junior Austin Brown had a steal that led to a Holloway basket. North Decatur’s offense came alive, but it was not quite enough.
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