The South Decatur boys basketball team atoned for six straight losses to North Decatur with Friday’s 60-44 win in the Civil War battle at South.
The Cougars improved to 3-0 by defeating the Chargers for the first time since 2009, and reclaimed the traveling trophy. South’s 3-0 start is the second under head coach Tom Black and the first since the 2008-2009 season, when the Cougars started 7-0 and 11-1.
North led 11-8 after the first quarter. The Chargers (0-3) appeared ready to defend their hold on the trophy as North went ahead 13-10 on a pair of free throws by senior Jason Kirchhoff.
The lead changed three more times until South went ahead for good on junior Taylor Kopplin’s 3-pointer with 1:30 left in the second quarter. After senior Byron Balser took a pass from senior Cameron Agnew that made it 14-13 earlier in the first, North junior Josh Weintraut scored to make it 15-14 for the Chargers. A foul shot by South senior Josh Miller tied the game, but North senior Mitch Knecht’s triple put North back up front. Balser’s score inched it back to a one-point margin until North junior Brock Ricke’s basket made it 20-17. However, South’s 20-9 second-quarter edge put South up 28-20 at the break. Kopplin led all scorers with nine points, all in the second quarter, and senior John Hammersmith led North with five points at halftime.
Despite 3-pointers by Kirchhoff, Weintraut and Ricke in the third quarter, South still outscored North 21-18 in the third and 11-6 in the fourth.
Balser led South’s second-half output with 15 points after the break. He led all scorers with 22 points, including a triple. Kopplin scored 19, including four triples, while Agnew added 11 (one trey). Senior Jordan Hatton scored five, junior Chris Johannigman scored two, and Miller chipped in one.
Hammersmith led North with 11 points. Kirchhoff scored eight and Ricke scored seven. Notching five points apiece were freshman Luke Badgley, freshman Zach Johnson and Weintraut, while Knecht added one of North’s six triples. Also hitting treys were Kirchhoff, Ricke, Badgley and Johnson.
South will travel to Rising Sun Saturday night for a contest against two potential sectional opponents.
Chargers win JV game
The North junior varsity team won the first game 38-14.
Evan Wallpe led North with 17 points. Luke Badgley and Brian Williamson each scored four.
Other scoring: Arek Holloway 3, Matthew Laudick 3, Andrew Hocker 3, Eric Moorman 2, Donovan Meyer 2.
Nick Schwering led South with six points. Brayden Helms scored five, Sam Studler added two and Randall Canady chipped in one.
Contact Nick Gonnella at (812) 663-3111, x7003.