Rebels rally late to top Tell City

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Sports Editor

TELL CITY—Tell City led most of the game but South Spencer went on an 11-2 run in the fourth quarter to beat the Marksmen 63-59 in PAC boys basketball Saturday.
Malin Webb scored six points on three layups in that run. Two of them came in transition, including one after he made a steal, as the Rebels’ defensive pressure bothered Tell City’s young guards.
Nathan Kuester added four free throws in that run. The last two gave the Rebels a 59-50 lead with 59 seconds left.
The Marksmen still weren’t done, though.
They hit three consecutive three-pointers—by Hunter Rowe, Rhett Baumeister and Drew Mowery—(sandwiched around Kuester’s hitting 2 of 4 free throws) to pull within two points, 61-59.
Then they made a steal and called timeout with 0:20 left.
They decided to go for the tie after the timeout but missed a 12-foot shot.
The Rebels grabbed the rebound and Kuester hit two free throws with 0:06 left to seal the outcome.
The Marksmen led by as many as eight points in the first half and still by seven, 30-23, at halftime.
They outrebounded the Rebels 12-4 and committed only five turnovers that half.
They boosted their lead to 34-25 on a driving basket by Brennan Malone early in the third quarter.
But he picked up his third foul with 6:05 left in that period and South Spencer proceeded to go on an 11-0 run to take a 36-34 lead.
The game was back and forth after that, with four ties and six lead changes the rest of the way.
Tell City was the more aggressive team in the first half but the Rebels were in the second half, forcing 12 Tell City turnovers.
“I thought turnovers were the difference in the game,” said Tell City Coach Brent Owen.
Besides using some full-court pressure, the Rebels changed half-court defenses frequently. “We could’ve handled that a little better,” said Owen.
He also noted that the Marksmen “didn’t have as many chances to get to the (free-throw) line in the second half.” They hit 11 of 16 there in the first half, 2 of 7 in the second half.
Rowe led Tell City with 25 points, including five three-pointers.
Malone added 13 points, and he and Grant Sanders each grabbed six rebounds.
Tell City outrebounded South Spencer 24-19 for the game, but the Rebels outshot Tell City from the field 53.7 percent to 47.5 percent.
“In the second half we attacked the basket and we got to the free-throw line,” said South Spencer Coach Ted O’Brien. “I was happy to see we didn’t settle for outside shots. We attacked inside even when they were in a zone.”
They did most of it without their top inside player, 6-foot-5 center Isaac Hebner, who played sparingly due to foul trouble and was held scoreless.
“We did an outstanding job on him defensively to get him in foul trouble,” said Owen.
Jesse Stallings came off the bench to lead the Rebels with 14 points on 6 of 6 field-goal shooting and 2 of 3 free throws.
Tell City fell to 3-9 overall, 0-4 in the PAC. South Spencer improved to 7-6 overall, 2-1 in the conference.
The Marksmen will host Mater Dei Friday at 7 p.m.
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South Spencer won the JV game 40-28.
Matt Zabel scored 12 points and Bryce Birchler grabbed six rebounds for Tell City, 3-8.