(Staff photo by David Campbell)
(Staff photo by David Campbell)
RISING SUN — Southwestern survived arguably its worst shooting night of the season to hold off upset-minded Rising Sun 61-55 in boys ORVC basketball on Friday night.

The Class 2A No. 1 Rebels struggled on offense all night and never truly took control of the game. But they never allowed those woes to affect them and keep them from winning their 10th-straight game at Rising Sun.

“In high school basketball where you’ve got 16-, 17-, 18-year-old kids, you’re going to have these nights. You can even go to the pros and have these kinds of nights,” Southwestern coach Jerry Bomholt said. “It happens. The difference between this group of kids and some other teams I’ve had, they are so competitive and they have so much gumption, that they found a way to make plays.”

Southwestern (19-1, 5-0 Ohio River Valley) had only one stretch in the game where they were truly dominant, a 14-2 run late in the first quarter and into the second that saw the Rebels build a nine-point lead.

The rest of the game was a struggle. Southwestern missed five layups in the first quarter alone — including two on fast breaks — and hit only four 3-pointers, both of which are the team’s bread-and-butter.

“We never miss those layups. We even had a two-on-one that we blew and didn’t even get off a shot,” Bomholt said. “For whatever reason we were lethargic tonight. It happens.”

Southwestern led just 8-7 after the first quarter, 29-23 at halftime and 43-35 after three quarters. The Rebels appeared to finally put the game away in the fourth when a 3-pointer by Foster Mefford and two free throws by Tyler Kramer built a 56-45 lead with 3:07 to go, their largest of the night.

But Rising Sun (7-10, 1-3 ORVC) didn’t back down and quickly scored five points to cut the margin to six and then stayed close the rest of the way. A three-point play by Nick Koons with five seconds to go pulled the Shiners to within 60-55 but Mefford’s free throw with three seconds left ended Rising Sun’s hopes for an upset.

Mefford finished the game with 19 points while Matthew Williams scored 15 and Kramer had 11. The Rebels were 17-of-20 at the free-throw line and committed only 11 turnovers.

Koons scored 14 points, Wesley Rider had 12 and Jacob Bovard 10 for Rising Sun, which committed 20 turnovers.

Southwestern hosts Milan on Friday, Feb. 15 with the ORVC title on the line. The Indians enter the game with a 4-0 mark in league play and are the only other team in the conference without a loss.

———

FRIDAY’S BOYS GAME

at Rising Sun

2A No. 1 SOUTHWESTERN 61, RISING SUN 55



SOUTHWESTERN 8 21 14 18 — 61

RISING SUN 7 16 12 20 — 55



SOUTHWESTERN (19-1, 5-0 ORVC) — (g)F. Mefford 19, (f)Williams 15, (g)T. Kramer 11, (g)H. Mefford 9, A. Kramer 4, (f)Cole 3.

RISING SUN (7-10, 1-3 ORVC) — (g)Koons 14, (f)Rider 12, (g)Bovard 10, (f)Cole 8, Manifold 6, Pflum 5, (g)Webb 0.



3-Point Goals — Southwestern 4 (F. Mefford 2, H. Mefford 1, Williams 1), Rising Sun 4 (Bovard 2, Koons 1, Pflum 1). Turnovers — Southwestern 11, Rising Sun 20. Total Fouls — Southwestern 8, Rising Sun 21. Free Throws — Southwestern 17-20, Rising Sun 5-6. Fouled Out — Rising Sun: Koons.