So we meet again
KOUTS — When Hebron and South Central met back on Jan. 3, Satellites coach Wes Bucher had a feeling it wouldn’t be the only time the teams would share a basketball court this season.
“At the end, (he) shook my hand and goes, we’ll probably see you again in the PCC (tournament),” Hebron coach Doug Godbolt said after Friday’s win over Boone Grove.
At that point, S.C. and Kouts were just warming up for their semifinal, but Godbolt wasn’t shy in saying who he wanted to play.
“I was hoping they would make it through,” he said. “I felt like we should have beaten them (before). I believe there’s no reason why we can’t beat them.”
In act one, Hebron led 21-9 at the half before South Central flipped the script to pull out a 42-38 win.
“It was the same with Kouts the last time,” Bucher said. “We didn’t show up the first half. Our execution (was poor). We let (Kaitlyn) Cherry drive way too much.”
Godbolt said he had to re-watch the film of the previous game to remember what happened in the third quarter.
“They play (the 1-3-1 zone) very well. They rotate players very well,” he said. “They’re a good team. They’ve got some really good players. Our (biggest) concern is getting the ball up the floor before they get the opportunity to get set up. We always push the ball. If you wait on teams to set up what they’re good at, you run into problems. We’ve got to come prepared.”
Hebron matches up well inside with 6-foot-1 Kyra Stater and 5-10 Allison Hano, but Bucher knows it all starts with Cherry, who reached the 1,000-point career mark Friday.
“Shutting down Kaitlyn is our main focus,” Bucher said. “Hebron being an aggressive team to the basket, we have to really focus to make sure they’re not getting to the rim. (Haley) Rokosz can shoot, but we’ll take our chances on the outside shot. If we keep them out of rhythm, the 3s don’t fall as much. We’ve got to make sure we’re ready for the physicality. We struggled with (that against Kouts) a little bit. That’s always a big concern for me.”
Ron Kobza’s Kouts team lost to S.C. by seven in double overtime and by 22 on Friday and by four to Hebron.
“Both teams have a lot of talented players,” he said. “They each put five girls on the floor who are able to score. Stater is playing extremely good ball for Hebron. She’s taking up a lot of space. She’s strong. Hano always goes after rebounds. Cherry can drive. They have shooters on the outside, Haley and (Carsyn) Ryan. South Central has all that stuff, too. It should be an interesting game, fun to watch. I wish I was playing in it.”
For Satellites junior Faith Biggs, the formula for success isn’t complicated.
“We came out slow with (Hebron), too,” Biggs said. “If we come out strong, like we did (Friday), hopefully we can get the win.”
South Central strung titles from 2014 to 2016, the last coming when its seniors were freshmen. Hebron hasn’t raised the PCC hardware since 2002.
“I asked them the other day how old were you? It was, one, two, two, one,” Godbolt said. “The kids haven’t had the (PCC) Kup in years. They’re excited. I told the kids, we match up with them pretty well. I really think it’s a game that’s going to go all four quarters. We’re looking forward to it.”
The game, originally scheduled for Saturday night, was postponed due to the weather and has been re-slated for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Kouts.
Porter County Conference Tournament
Hebron (15-6) vs. South Central (15-5), 5:30 p.m.