Times Sports Editor
Terre Haute South has made a successful living this year with its prolific 3-point shooting on the way to a 13-2 mark coming into Wednesday's make-up game at Northview High School.
But what has really spurred the Braves to No. 6 in the Class 4A polls is a devastating swarm of a zone defense that wears teams down mentally and physically. Both were working for the Braves on the way to a second win over the Knights this season.
Terre Haute South placed four players in double-figures and sped to a 71-46 victory.
"Early on we played well for four or five minutes, but Trent (Lancaster) went out with a nose (injury) and we lost composure," Northview coach Ernie Maesch said.
In fact, the Knights did play well early on, getting a three-point play from Austin Akers and a couple of buckets from Jonathan Bradshaw, but then the Braves started knocking down their 3-pointers.
In the teams' match-up in the third-place game of the Pizza Hut Wabash Valley Classic, Terre Haute South hit 18 3-pointers. On Wednesday they looked ready to repeat that performance.
Ian McIntyre hit three, 3-pointers in a brief stretch, Jacob Tanoos hit a pair and Anthony McGill tallied eight points as South went on an 18-2 spurt.
The Braves 1-3-1 zone and the varying traps that they used out of it washed over the Knights ball handlers, forcing five, first quarter turnovers as South pulled away to a 26-10 lead.
"(The Braves) are so unique," Maesch said. "They have a bunch of 6'3 guys that can shoot, dribble and they are so long on defense. We try and simulate what they do in practice, but it's impossible. They aren't going to run one (defense). They are so athletic that they get into your vision."
Terre Haute South sank six 3-pointers in opening the 16-point lead after one quarter, but Lancaster returned after taking an elbow to the head early in the first period. The Knights began working the ball inside to Bradshaw and Musgrave with great success.
The two combined for 10 points and Akers had four of his 21 points in the quarter. Most importantly however, was that South suddenly went cold from behind the arc.
The Braves missed all nine of their 3-pointers and the Knights clawed back to within 31-24 at the break.
With shooters like South has got this season, the Braves weren't going to stay cold for long and their defense got them warmed up.
John Michael Jarvis drilled a 3-pointer to open the second half and followed with a lay-in off a Northview turnover. McIntyre followed with a bucket and another Knights' miscue fed Jarvis for another layup. McIntyre added his fourth 3-pointer of the game and Northview trailed 43-26 after a 12-2 Braves run.
Jarvis scored 15 of the Braves' 25 points in the quarter and Northview would get no closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
"The kids played hard," Maesch said of his squad. "As a player, I never played against something like (Terre Haute South's defense). It's got to be hard, but we'll be prepared the next time we see them and keep chipping away."
In the JV game, South was able to take a 45-35 decision despite 11 points from Damon Hyatt, eight from Jordan VanHorn and five from Nathan Smith.
The Knights (6-10 overall) travel to Plainfield on Saturday night to face the Quakers beginning with a 6 p.m. JV game.
T.H. South (71)
McGill 6-15 0-0 15, McIntyre 5-10 0-0 14, Jarvis 8-14 3-4 22, Odum 3-8 1-4 7, Austin 1-1 0-0 2, Tanoos 4-6 0-0 11, Housley 0-1 0-0 0, Rose 0-0 0-0 0, Worrell 0-1 0-0 0, Young 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 27-57 4-8 71.
Akers 7-13 4-6 21, Lancaster 1-2 0-0 2, Mershon 1-4 0-0 3, Reynolds 0-4 0-0 0, Bradshaw 4-5 0-0 8, Musgrave 3-4 4-4 10, Sims 0-0 0-0 0, Wilson 0-0 0-0 0, Allen 0-0 0-0 0, Robertson 0-0 1-1 1, Rector 0-2 0-0 0, Keller 0-3 1-2 1, Hyatt 0-0 0-0 0, VanHorn 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 16-37 10-14 46.
3-point fieldgoals -- THS 13-34 (McGill 3-10, McIntyre 4-8, Jarvis 3-9, Tanoos 3-5, Odum 0-2), Nv 4-14 (Akers 3-6, Mershon 1-4, Rector 0-1, Reynolds 0-2). Total Rebounds -- THS 31 (Odum 6, McIntyre 5), Nv 23 (Musgrave 4). Total Fouls -- THS 15, Nv 9. Turnovers -- THS 9, Nv 18.