Sullivan South boys coach Michael McMeans could not have been happier after his Rebels rallied for a 64-59 Three Rivers Conference win over visiting Sullivan East on Tuesday.
The Rebels (15-6, 2-2) trailed 43-34 with 1:41 left in the third quarter. With a run for the ages, South outscored the Patriots 19-2 and built a 53-45 lead with 2:24 left in the contest.
“We never panicked when we were down nine,” McMeans said. “The guys just kept battling.”
South’s defense was so stingy down the stretch that East failed to score a bucket for almost nine minutes. The Patriots made six free throws during the drought before Dylan Bartley finally hit a 3-pointer with 56 seconds showing on the clock.
East tried to trade free throws for baskets in the final minute of play but could get no closer than three points.
The Patriots, down 30-27 at the half, used a 16-4 rally of their own in the third quarter to build what seemed like a comfortable cushion.
“We did everything we wanted in the third quarter,” said Patriots coach John Dyer. “Then we let them get happy at the end of the quarter and then couldn’t match them in the fourth.”
Cole Layne and Chase Bowery led the way with 17 points apiece for South. Ben Diamond and Gannon Chase chipped in with 11 each.
Dylan Bartley had a game-high 25 points for East (12-8, 1-3) with Dustin Bartley chipping in 15.
LADY REBELS PREVAIL
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Mckenzie Littleton to open the fourth quarter propelled Sullivan South to a 49-32 victory over East.
Littleton’s treys gave South a 32-22 advantage with 6:53 remaining in the game. From that point, the Lady Rebels paraded to the charity stripe where they hit 13 of 15 shots to ice the win.
Mollie Leslie, who totaled 11 points for the game, made 9 of 10 free throws during that stretch.
“We want the ball in her hands,” said South coach Terry Hutson. “We know that free-throw shooting will be a key when we get to postseason.”
Alex Harris added 10 points for the Lady Rebels (11-8, 2-2), and Carissa Comsa scored 12 points and pulled down an amazing 14 rebounds.
“Comsa was just an animal on the boards,” Hutson added.
Hayley Grubb had a game-high 14 points for the Lady Patriots (9-12, 1-3).