South boys look to shoot past Stars

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South boys look to shoot past Stars

James Bomba (23) holds the ball for the final seconds of the game.

James Bomba (23) holds the ball for the final seconds of the game.

Calvin Prenkert

James Bomba (23) holds the ball for the final seconds of the game.

Calvin Prenkert

Calvin Prenkert

James Bomba (23) holds the ball for the final seconds of the game.

Logan Hanchett, Sports Writer

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The first two games of the season have been disappointing losses for the Panthers. However, there’s still a lot of basketball to be played, and this South team can go far if they can pull things together. Friday can be a start.

The boys will take on Bedford North-Lawrence (2-1) Friday at home. South blew them out last season, 61-39, but things could be closer this time around. BNL lost a nailbiter to Bloomington North in the first game of the season, and then they responded well with back to back victories at the Linton-Stockton Tournament.

BNL has the skillful guard play and size to give South a run for its money.

Senior point guard McCall Ray (12) has experience running offenses, both as a starter for the basketball team last season and as the starting quarterback for the football team. He’s capable of hitting some shots,too. Ray is likely to match up against junior South point guard Noah Jager, a battle between two of southern Indiana’s better floor generals.

Junior shooting guard Brayton Bailey (22), son of legendary IU basketball player Damon Bailey, joins Ray to form a solid backcourt. Bailey, who checks in at 6-foot-2, scored 17 in the Stars’ loss to North. Much of his game comes from mid-range or on drives. 

At forward and center, too, the Stars have a formidable lineup.

Senior forward Drew Shoufler (25) is a rebounding machine underneath, and can score on the outside. He snatched 10 against North, but he will have to compete with junior Anthony Leal this time around. Joining Shoufler at forward will be 6-foot-4 senior Jathan Ritter, another experienced and well-rounded player.

BNL rounds up the lineup with senior center Cale Bunch (15). Bunch has good size and can be tricky to defend down low, making 3-of-5 shots versus North. He’ll likely matchup against South’s Adam Graham.

With all that being said, here’s what South needs to do to get their first win on the year.

 

Three Keys to Victory

 

Capitalize on the gimmes

South has struggled with fundamentals this year and missed out on opportunities. The Panthers have quick hands and feet, making them a team who can force a lot of turnovers each game. In the first two games they’ve done so, but they have failed to capitalize off of them.  Things have been ugly so far at the free throw line. That’ll have to be corrected for South to win.

 

Hold BNL’s shooters in check

Ray, Shoufler and others could put together a Edgewood-esque three point effort. South’s opponents are shooting 52 percent from the three point line this season, by all means something the Panthers cannot live with. 

 

Get hot from beyond the arc

South just hasn’t shot well at all from the three point line, a whopping 3-of-27 overall this season. For a team that starts four guards, each of whom are talented shooters, this just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Jager has played great so far, but some of South’s other guards haven’t. If Leal and sophomores Connor Hickman and Joseph Bomba can get hot, this is a very dangerous team.

 

South (0-2) plays Bedford North-Lawrence (2-1) Friday, Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. The student section theme is “hick night.”

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