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FARINA – A five-point possession in the middle of the third quarter was the turning point for Vandalia in a 46-26 victory at South central in Tuesday’s season-opener.
Senior Tim Ritchey made a 3-pointer but was fouled after the shot, and senior Michael Wells made a second-chance layup on the ensuing possession to give the Vandals a 30-14 lead and control of the game with 3:51 left in the third period.
“That was kind of the dagger,” said South Central coach Rick Simmons. “So many times, they let that foul go, but this year, they are going to call it.
“That was a turning point, because we came out in the second half and scored some, but then we allowed a five-point play.”
South Central had turned over Vandalia on its first two possessions of the second half, and scored the first basket.
Vandalia coach Brian Buscher, who was making his head coaching debut, said that because the Cougars were able to slow down the pace of the game, that possession was even more valuable.
“That’s huge right there,” he said. “With them controlling the tempo, that was big.”
Senior Aaron Harter had 12 points to lead the Vandals (1-0), and six other players had at least four points.
Vandalia had 26 rebounds in the game, including nine on the offensive end that led to three second-chance points, and senior Chase Woolsey led the team with seven.
For South Central, senior Fischer Tharp came four points short of reaching 1,000 for his career, scoring 16 points to lead the Cougars (0-1). Senior Rudy Hablewitz added six, and three players each had a team-high four rebounds.
The Vandals play next Monday at the DuQuoin Tournament at 6 p.m. against Cairo, while South Central travels to St. Elmo next Tuesday.
Tuesday, Nov. 20
South Central 26
Points: Harter, 12; Ritchey, 8; Leyton Godoyo, 7; Ch. Woolsey, 7; Wade Cowger, 4; Wells, 4; Colton Woolsey, 4.
Rebounds: Ch. Woolsey, 7; Godoyo, 6; Harter, 3; Team, 3; Cowger, 2; Ritchey, 2; Wells, 1.
Assists: Godoyo, 4; Ch. Woolsey, 4; Ritchey, 2; Cowger, 1; Harter, 1; Wells, 1.
Steals: Ritchey, 3; Godoyo, 2; Cowger, 1; Wells, 1; Ch. Woolsey, 1; Co. Woolsey, 1.
Blocks: Co. Woolsey, 2.
Points: Tharp, 16; Hablewitz, 6; Evan Langley, 2; Joel Rose, 2.
Rebounds: Hablewitz, 4; Rose, 4; Tharp, 4; Langley, 2; Chase Riley, 1; Team, 1.
Assists: Hablewitz, 2.
Steals: Hablewitz, 2; Brett Harmeier, 1; Gavin Ratermann, 1; Riley, 1; Rose, 1; Austin Schwarm, 1.
Blocks: Riley, 1.
JV: Vandalia won, 38-32.