GREENSBURG — The South Decatur boys basketball team had plenty of positive moments during its season.
Saturday night was not one of them. The team struggled in its 39-35 loss to Jac-Cen-Del in the South Decatur Class A Sectional championship game.
“We had a lot of special moments this year, and a lot of times when the ball bounced our way,” South Decatur coach Tom Black. said. “We won a lot of close games. It’s hard to have the ball not bounce our way in the last one of the season.”
In a low scoring game that saw both teams struggle to find consistency, South Decatur (15-7) seemed to not be able to find a way to score.
“Our kids are a lot more capable than they showed tonight,” Black said. “We just didn’t play very well tonight.”
Both teams committed several early errors in the game. The first quarter came to a close with only six total points scored between the two schools.
Jac-Cen-Del (8-15) settled down some and played aggressive defense the rest of the night and forced South Decatur to commit numerous turnovers.
The game remained close throughout, with 16 lead changes through the contest. In the fourth quarter Jac-Cen-Del was able to take the lead from the Cougars, who battled to stay in the game.
“We started putting pressure on ourselves that was unnecessary,” Black said.“We were so worried about making the plays, instead of just relaxing and playing basketball.”
With 15 seconds left in the game, the Cougars’ Taylor Kopplin missed a 3-pointer that would’ve given South Decatur the lead. Jac-Cen-Del’s Trent Smith grabbed the rebound and was fouled.
Smith hit both free throws to give the Eagles a four point lead. After a steal by
Jac-Cen-Del, the clock expired, and South Decatur’s season was finished.
“Jac-Cen-Del just kept fighting and beating us to loose balls,” Black said. “They made the extra efforts. It was a close game throughout and fun for the fans. Probably not a good basketball game, but you have to give credit to Jac-Cen-Del for fighting to get to this spot.”
South Decatur was led by Kopplin, who scored 14 points, and senior Byron Balser, who added 12. Jac-Cen-Del was led by Smith with 13 points and junior Adam Siebert with 12 points.
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