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Satellites stumble at Boone

December 22, 2018

PORTER TOWNSHIP — Basketball can be a funny game, not necessarily funny ha ha, but funny weird.

It was all funny weird and no funny ha ha Thursday for South Central at Boone Grove, where the Satellites figured to move a step closer to the Porter County Conference round-robin title, only to get bounced 50-33 by the Wolves.

“We were not mentally in the game,” S.C. coach Wes Bucher said. “You could see it in every aspect. When your star players don’t play well, you struggle. That’s any team. Give Boone credit. Their stars facilitated the ball well and they had role players step up. They shot the ball well. They played good defense. They took care of business. Good for them.”

Boone (10-5, 3-2) sure did. Annika Ehrlich scored a career-high 20 points, catching fire in the second quarter when the Wolves, down 16-8 after a period, closed to within a point.

“She was wide open, she took her shot with confidence and she knocked it down,” B.G. coach Linda Eleftheri said. “Did you ever have a night where you shot the ball and just knew it was going in? The girls realized who had the hot hand and they got it to her.”

Kate Pfister took over from there. The senior guard scored all 14 of her points in the second half, handling the Satellites’ pressure and keying the Wolves’ defense as Boone seized control with a 15-5 third quarter. S.C. (11-4, 4-1) momentarily moved within six on an Abbie Tomblin 3 but Pfister countered with an and-one, and the Satellites never threatened again.

“We had a lot of practice with this,” Eleftheri said of South Central’s 1-3-1 press. “The last four games, we’ve seen 1-2-2 fullcourt, 1-3-1 fullcourt, diamond-and-one full court. We sat and watched a lot of game tape. We literally passed the ball through the zone press. Once we could convince them they didn’t have to dribble and they could move the ball, we were fine. A guard’s first reaction is to dribble, so it’s hard to ask them sometimes not to do what they’re used to doing. They executed.”

At the other end, Boone negated the Satellites’ size advantage and S.C. couldn’t hit jump shots, making just four of 19 3s.

“A lot of times, we missed posts who were wide open,” Bucher said. “Then there were times we got it to them and we did nothing with it. Our post play was atrocious. We did not come ready to play on the inside. We had several travels, we air balled three or four layups. (Boone) did a good job of staying physical. You take what the officials give you. We’re definitely better in the halfcourt than what we’re doing. It’s the second game now where we got out of our game, the transition game, and we come down and play weak offensively. If they take that transition away from us, we’re just average Joes. I don’t think we are but right now we’re playing like it. It’s disappointing.”

The Wolves, in turn, shot 10-of-16 after the break.

“Once you start hitting, you start feeling it,” Bucher said. “The freshmen were making freshman mistakes on defense. We haven’t worked on man that much and it showed. We were getting beat off the dribble, we don’t pinch, we don’t help out. That’s literally man defense and we kept doing it.”

Boone uses only one player over 5-foot-7, yet stalemated S.C. on the glass.

“We controlled the boards,” Eleftheri said. “We tried to box out five strong. We wanted to eliminate any second takes to the basket. Everything worked our way.”

Tomblin led S.C. with 13 points, but no one else managed more than seven, as the Satellites relinquished control of the PCC Kup traveling trophy.

“If I knew it was such a big deal, I think I would buy a Kup and tell them every team has one just to get them to play like this,” Eleftheri said.

South Central is now tied for the PCC lead with Hebron with Morgan also even in the loss column. S.C. hosts Hebron in its next game, Jan. 3.

Boone Grove 50, South Central 33

Abbie Tomblin had 13 points for the Satellites.

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