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Braves hold off Viking comeback, win 57-44

Feb. 9—Visiting West Vigo played two and a half good quarters of high school basketball Friday night at Terre Haute South and the host Braves had a very good quarter and a half.

And because the Braves' stretches of good play came at the beginning and end of the game, they were able to hold off the determined Vikings 57-44 in South's homecoming game.

"I thought if we wouldn't have gotten off to such a slow start . . .," said West Vigo coach Joe Boehler, whose team was behind 20-6 after the first quarter.

"We struggled in the middle," admitted Ian McIntyre, who coached the Braves on Friday as Maynard Lewis attended to a personal matter.

South had a 6-0 lead before West Vigo got a shot off, Treva Branch feeding Jaylen Wells for a layup off the opening tip and Viking turnovers leading to two more easy scores.

It was a 15-2 game before the 20-6 first-quarter margin.

But West Vigo hit three 3-pointers — Zeke Tanoos, Talan Boehler and Garrett Pugh — to open the second quarter and held South's starters scoreless for those eight minutes. The only points scored by South reserves — five by Brady Wilson, two by Nathan Boyce — in the entire game kept the Braves ahead 27-18 at intermission (when four players served as homecoming escorts).

When the Braves got the first basket of the third quarter they led 29-18, and moments later it was 31-21. Then the Vikings went on a 10-0 run — a 3-pointer by Landon Fields, a nifty left-handed layup by Talan Boehler and a basket and a tying 3-pointer by Tanoos — and suddenly it was a 31-31 game.

But South never gave up the lead, and a 10-3 run at that point put the Braves ahead 41-34. West Vigo had one more surge, getting within 43-41 on a Ryan Smith 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter, but was outscored 14-3 the rest of the way.

"The kids played incredibly hard," coach Boehler said later, putting particular emphasis on the adjective. "I wish I could bottle that up. But we couldn't get a shot to drop when we needed it to drop, and offensively we let some things get away from us later in the game."

"It was a really unusual situation," said McIntyre, who didn't find out for sure that he'd be coaching until Friday afternoon. "[The Braves] did a great job staying disciplined and doing things the right way." Those things done the right way, McIntyre added, were rebounding (a 40-29 advantage) and avoiding turnovers (just four for the game).

Branch and Zay Baker led South with 13 points each — "I thought Talan [Boehler] did an exceptionally good job on Baker," coach Boehler said — while Josh Morgan scored 10. Wells led all rebounders with nine, Chris Herrin had eight points and eight rebounds and the rest of Baker's stats included seven rebounds and a game-high six assists. Tanoos led all scorers with 21 for the Vikings.

"I thought [the Braves] would come out hyped for homecoming," coach Boehler said after the game. "I loved our effort getting back in the game ... if we keep playing like that. we'll see how we finish things out."

WEST VIGO (44) — Tanoos 9-23 0-0 21, Boehler 2-10 1-1 6, Pugh 2-6 1-3 6, Fields 2-4 0-0 6, Smith 1-4 0-0 3, Deighton 0-0 0-0 0, Chambers 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 17-49 FG, 2-4 FT, 44 TP.

TERRE HAUTE SOUTH (57) — Morgan 4-9 2-2 10, Herrin 2-4 4-4 8, Wells 2-5 2-3 6, Baker 4-16 5-8 13, Branch 4-9 2-4 13, Boyce 1-1 0-0 2, Wilson 2-2 1-2 5. Totals 19-47 FG, 16-23 FT, 57 TP.

West Vigo 6 12 18 8 — 44

TH South 20 7 14 16 — 57

3-point shooting — WV 8-27 (Tanoos 3-11, Fields 2-4, Pugh 1-2, Smith 1-3, Boehler 1-7), THS 3-17 (Branch 3-7, Morgan 0-2, Herrin 0-2, Baker 0-6). Total fouls — WV 20, THS 10. Fouled out — Fields. Technical foul — Fields. Turnovers — WV 11, THS 4. Rebounds — WV 29 (Tanoos 7, Boehler 6, Pugh 5, Fields 3, Chambers 3, Smith 2, Deighton, Team 2), THS 40 (Wells 10, Herrin 8, Baker 7, Morgan 5, Branch 2, Wilson 2, Team 6). Assists — WV 6 (Boehler 3, Tanoos, Pugh, Smith), THS 12 (Baker 6, Branch 3, Morgan, Herrin, Wells). Steals — WV 1 (Boehler), THS 7 (Morgan 2, Baker 2, Branch 2, Wells). Blocks — WV 1 (Fields), THS 3 (Wells 2, Baker).

JV — Terre Haute South 36 (Daimen Sandifer 12), West Vigo 27 (Kyson Daugherty 9).

Next — Terre Haute South (9-9) plays Tuesday at Linton. West Vigo (9-11) hosts Cloverdale that night.