South Point wins sectional crown
JACKSON — When one sense goes, the other senses grow stronger.
When South Point struggled with its shooting, the Pointers turned to their defense and rebounding. The senses proved strong enough as they beat the Waverly Tigers 37-27 Saturday in the Division III sectional finals.
“When you aren’t scoring, defense and rebounding is what wins it. That’s what happened tonight. A month ago we wouldn’t have won this game. I’m proud of their effort tonight,” said Pointers’ coach Chris Barnes.
The Pointers were 14-of-42 from the field but held Waverly to 9-of-40 shooting and dominated the glass 40-19. Waverly was 6-of-20 from the 3-point line.
Eli Ketron had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Pointers. John Johnson had seven points, seven rebounds and four assists while Brandon Barnes scored eight points.
Pierce Knisley scored 15 points for Waverly, all on 3-pointers.
South Point (15-6) will play in the district tournament at 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 2, at Ohio Unversity.
The game was tied four times in the first half as neither team shot the ball well. South Point was 8-of-25 while Waverly was only 4-of-20 including 1-of-9 in the second quarter.
Knisley it a pair of 3-pointers and Aaron Heibel had another as Waverly took a 9-3 lead to start the game.
But the Pointers tied the game on a layup by Barnes only to trail 11-9 at the end of the first quarter.
A layup by Ketron off a pass from Johnson and a short jumper by Johnson gave South Point a 13-11 lead. Heibel scored to tie the game, but the Pointers took a 17-13 halftime lead when Ketron had a layup and Brady Rickard followed up his own missed shot with two seconds left.
“It made me mad that they hit those back screen 3’s. We worked on that for a week. But we locked down the second quarter and they scored two points. That was the difference in the game.
“Basically, when we had to stop them late, we stopped them.”
Waverly got within 22-19 at the end of the third quarter and cut the gap to 26-24 on a 3-poiner by Knisley with 3:21 to play.
But Barnes got a layup, then stole the ball and made a layup to put the Pointers up 34-25 with one minute left.
“Credit Brandon. He was one-for-two in the first half. Most guys would just come out shooting every time he touched it. He’s not that kind of guy. I told him to stay patient. We’ll need some points late and he had six big points,” said coach Barnes.
Johnson converted 3-of-4 free throws over the final 39 seconds to clinch the Pointers ninth straight win and 10th in 11 games.
Waverly 11 2 6 8 = 27
South Point 9 8 5 15 = 37
WAVERLY (NA): Amin Gilbert 0 0 0-0 0, Eric Rinehart 1 0 0-0 2, Pierce Knisley 0 5 0-0 15, Jake Henderson 0 0 0-0 0, Aaron Heibel 1 1 3-4 8, Joe Henderson 0 0 0-0 0, Daniel Heffner 1 0 0-0 2. Totals: 9-40 3-4 27. 3-point goals: 6-20. Rebounds: 4-O, 15-D = 19 (Rinehart 6, Knisley 5, Gilbert 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 2. Assists: 3. Steals: 4. Turnovers: 5. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None.
SOUTH POINT (15-6): John Johnson 2 0 3-6 7, Audric Harlow 1 0 1-1 3, Brandon Barnes 4 0-0 8, Eli Ketron 4 0 2-4 10, Brandon Boggs 2 0 0-0 4, Marquise Foley 0 0 0-0 0, Brady Rickard 2 0 0-0 4. Totals: 14-42 7-11 37. 3-point goals: 0-7. Rebounds: 15-O, 25-D = 40 (Ketron 10, Johnson 7). Team/deadball rebounds: 6. Assists: 7 (Johnson 4). Steals: 1 (Boggs). Turnovers: 12. Fouls: 11. Fouled out: None.