South pushes past North, 70-61


Junior guard Noah Jager (15) watches his shot during warmups. Jager scored 20 points in South’s 70-61 win

Calvin Prenkert, Editor

The gym was packed full of members of the Bloomington community this past Friday night, but fans were split and things were personal in the annual boys basketball crosstown rivalry game.

At first, due to some quick North offense, the Cougars (7-3) looked as if they might finally snap the eight year South win streak. Eventually, however, the Panthers(11-3) locked in and it was business as usual with a 70-61 South win.

The Panthers, powered by junior Anthony Leal and fellow classmate Noah Jager, played strong offense and even stronger defense, forcing 17 North turnovers throughout the course of the four quarters.

Leal, who has offers from Xavier, Butler, Iowa and several other division one programs, received heavy berating from the North student section, including “overrated” chants early in the game.

In the end, the taunting seemed to just add fuel to the fire, as Leal finished with a game-high 23 points, leaving the North fans silenced and still winless in Conference Indiana standings (0-2.)

Jager, South’s hustle and energy spark at point guard, was electric in the game, scoring 20 points and dishing out some brilliant passes to the likes of seniors Adam Graham and Grayson Rolen to keep the Panthers in the driver’s seat.

Graham and Rolen scored nine points each, while sophomore guard Connor Hickman added seven. Junior reserve Jordan Meeks saw some heavy minutes in the forward spot and added two points and several steals. Meeks made a major difference on the defensive end especially against some of North’s bigger post threats like junior Jeremiah Blair and sophomore Aaron Steinfeldt, but some foul trouble kept him on the bench for a large part of the game.

On the North side, sophomore Isaac Vencel scored a team high 14 points, with former Panther and Senior Chris Thomas adding 13. This was Thomas’ first time returning to South to play against his former team since he transferred to North during his junior year. In last year’s sectional match up, Thomas scored 17 points in the Cougars 62-48 loss to South, and although he displayed similar theatrics in this game, hitting some deep threes and playing strong defense, the Cougars were still unable to grab the win.  

For the time being, South stays on top, and the “just like football” chants that rang out across the gym will simmer with North fans until a potential sectional matchup in the fast approaching postseason.

Bruce Watch: Our favorite senior reserve saw some big playing time in the last 14 seconds of the game. The 6th man student section went ballistic when Furr checked in. It should be noted that the Panthers won the game while Furr was checked in, and although the stat sheet failed to  report it, he did dish out one high five to Rolen after a free throw attempt.