For nearly six minutes in the SPIAA 2018 League Basketball Tournament Friday night, the Spearville Royal Lancers boys basketball team held their own against the South Gray Rebels.
Late in the first quarter, though, the Royal Lancers started to collapse under the South Gray pressure, and by the end of the first half, the game was becoming out of hand.
The Rebels beat the Royal Lancers 54-26 Friday night. The Rebels will take on South Central at 8 p.m. tonight. The Lancers will take on Hodgeman County at 4 p.m.
South Gray junior Clifton Miller opened the scoring with a 3-pointer, and the Rebels took a 7-0 lead before Spearville hit a 3-point shot, starting a 7-0 run for the Royal Lancers, who tied the score at 7-7 with 2:48 left in the first.
South Gray took the lead 10-7 on a score by junior Austin Jantz, but Spearville senior Waylon Strecker tied the game at 10-10.
That was as close as it ever go. South Gray went on a 23-0 run after that to go up 33-10 with about five minutes left in the second quarter. Spearville scored eight points to one by South Gray to end the first half, but at that point South Gray led 34-18.
“It always feels good to be in the finals of the League tournament,” South Gray head coach Mark Applegate said.
He said that although Hodgeman County had been the higher seed against South Central, the later is still a good team.
“They’re quick, they shoot the ball well, and their disciplined,” Applegate said. “We played ‘em earlier in the year and it was a six-point game at halftime.”
South Gray shot the ball well Friday night, but defense might have been the strongest element of their game Friday night.
“That defense was exactly the way we should have been playing it Tuesday night also,” Applegate said. “They came to play a lot better tonight than they did Tuesday.
South Gray — Koehn 0, 0-0; Askew 7, 1-1; Skidmore 0, 0-0; Peters 17, 2-2; Jantz 17, 4-6; Griebel 2, 0-0; Rosas 0, 0-0; Neufeld 0, 0-0; Guenther 0, 0-0; Davis 4, 0-1; Bullinger 0, 0-0; Miller 7, 4-4
Spearville - Metting 0, 0-0; T. Tasset 0, 0-0; C. Tasset 0, 0-0; Heeke 9, 1-4; Stein 8, 1-3; Pedigo 0, 0-0; Strecker 7, 0-0; Stephenson 0, 0-0; Rich 7, 0-0; Heinz 0, 0-0; Sites 5, 1-2; Kolbeck 0, 0-0
South Gray: 10, 8, 9, 9 — 36
Spearville: 16, 18, 6, 14 — 54