Panther boys seek to fly past Cardinals

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Calvin Prenkert

South's Bruce Furr (43) looks to grab a rebound during warmups.

Logan Hanchett, Sports Writer

Following the first 0-2 start in more than three decades, South is taking no game for granted.

 

Last Friday was a start, defeating BNL 75-66. But this team is capable of more.

 

A home date with No. 4 ranked Floyd Central (Dec. 15) looms just around the corner for the Panthers, although they assuredly aren’t looking past Southport or Terre Haute North.

 

Southport comes into Friday’s matchup with a record of 2-1 after dropping a recent matchup to Ben Davis (56-46). The Cardinals are led by a new man following the departure of head coach Kyle Simpson. Simpson moved to Bloomington to join J.R. Holmes’ staff as an assistant coach.

 

For Southport, one of Holmes’ former players is now leading the team. Eric Brand, who led South Bend Riley to a 26-1 record and reached semi-states last season, played for South in the 1990’s and had a great career at Bethel College. He’s now top dog at Southport and looking to turn around the struggling southside program that finished just 7-15 last year.

 

The biggest threat on the perimeter for the Cardinals comes from 6-foot-2 junior point guard Brevin Jefferson. Jefferson averaged over 13 points per game and 4 assists per game as a sophomore, leading the team in both categories.

 

Another player to watch will be senior forward Eddie Schott. Schott, who led the state in passing yards as a quarterback, could be tricky to matchup against for the Panthers. He averaged 7.5 points per game as a junior, but is expected to play a bigger role this season, especially once he finds his groove after transitioning from football.

 

Joining Schott inside the paint is 6-foot-8 senior forward Chaz Hinds. Hinds possesses good versatility as someone who can score inside and bounce out to the perimeter when needed. If he’s clicking, he’ll prove a difficult matchup for South’s senior forward Adam Graham.

 

For South, they’ll find success on fastbreaks and in transition, something the Panthers did fairly well at against BNL. The Panthers are the more athletic team and should be able to move quickly for transition scores. Expect senior guard Grayson Rolen to have more opportunities to show off his hops if things are going well.

 

Besides athleticism, Southport hasn’t shot the ball real well this season, although you could certainly make the case that South hasn’t either (up until the BNL game). That’ll be something both teams will look to reverse in Friday’s matchup.

 

Junior guard Noah Jager is averaging 15.3 points per game this season. On the team’s scoring capabilities, “we have shooters all over the court, we just need to live up to our potential,” said Jager.

 

However, in the first two games things just weren’t clicking offensively. “Obviously there are gonna be games where we don’t shoot as well as we’d like to, but that’s when we need to make up for it by playing good defense and slowing down the pace of the game,” added Jager.

 

In Friday’s game, South will be tested by a team that has good size and is well-coached.

 

Three Keys to the Game

  1. Combat Southport’s interior presence
  2. Capitalize on turnovers
  3. Get ahead early

 

South (1-2) battles Southport (2-1) Friday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. The student section theme is “frat night”.