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By LARRY GOFFINET
CANNELTON—South Spencer’s 43-23 rebounding advantage and Dakota Risse’s hot third quarter offset Brandon Cook’s 47 points as the Rebels beat Cannelton 79-73 in boys basketball Tuesday.
Cook hit 16 of 27 shots from the field, including 6 of 12 from three-point range, and 9 of 14 free throws as he tied his career high and the second highest individual scoring game in Cannelton history.
He scored 31 in the first half on 10 of 14 field-goal shooting, including 6 of 9 from three-point range, and 5 of 7 free throws.
His three-pointer in the closing seconds of the half tied the score 42-42 and his 15-foot fall-away shot gave the Bulldogs a 52-45 lead three minutes into the third quarter.
Risse scored 15 points, including three three-pointers in that quarter as South Spencer built a 65-60 lead by the end of the period.
Cannelton took its final lead, 70-69, as Cook hit a driving baseline shot and free throw with 3:14 left in the game.
That was his last points of the game, though, as playing the entire game and South Spencer’s heavy defensive pressure may have tired him down the stretch.
Nathan Kuester replied with a three-pointer from the wing to put the Rebels up 72-70.
They hit 7 of 10 free throws the rest of the way to preserve the lead while Cannelton scored only one free throw until Damon Powers hit a driving shot in the closing seconds.
Cannelton Coach Brian Garrett said of Cook, “I think he got a little tired, but I couldn’t afford to take him out.”
One reason for that was Tristan Simmons, Cannel-ton’s second leading scorer for the season, sat out much of the game in foul trouble.
He picked up his third and fourth fouls—one a technical—with 2:30 left in the first half.
Powers, a freshman reserve, was the Bulldogs’ second leading scorer in this game with eight points.
“Damon Powers showed me a lot tonight,” said Garrett. “He played a lot of key minutes and he hit an outside shot, so that should get his confidence going.
“The key is for us to be at our best come tourney time.”
As for the Bulldogs’ poor rebounding, Garrett said, “We just didn’t block out. We stood and hoped for the best.”
Cook, a 5-foot-10 guard, led the Bulldogs with six rebounds. He also made five steals.
Isaac Hebner grabbed 10 rebounds for the 2-1 Rebels and Charleston Roberts added nine.
Risse led them in scoring with 18 points and Hebner and Cole Woodburn each added 16.
Cannelton, 2-2, is off until Dec. 20.