The long awaited rematch with the South Newton Rebels took place last night at Caston in the IHSAA 1A Sectional Championship game. South Newton ranked #8 with a 20-5 record advanced to meet the #2 Ranked Tri-County Cavaliers with a 22-2 record. The game lived up to its hype in the first half as the two heavy weights pitted their assets against each other to the best of their ability. The Rebels trying to use their height to pound the ball inside against the undersized but quicker Cavaliers. The Cavaliers trying to get the game into a full court transition game to offset the Rebels superiority at the half court. After two quarters they battled to a 3 point TC advantage, but the TC defensive pressure was mounting up fouls at an alarming rate with both Bryce Cook and Sam Getz in early foul trouble. It was not clear that the Cavaliers hopes to take the legs away from the bigger Rebels was working. The Cavaliers came out in the third quarter with a renewed resolve to pressure the Rebels but quickly found themselves without the services of their two big guys with fouls. The Cavalier fans were holding their breath to see what was going to happen next. What happened was the Cavalier guard tandem of Patterson and Patton took over the game attacking the basket in transition and drawing fouls on South Newton’s biggest basket defenders and putting the Cavs on the free throw line where they cashed in. The Cavalier offense got untracked and outscored the Rebels 18-7 to take a 44-30 third quarter lead. This seemed to take the legs away from the Rebels and their resolve. The Cavaliers spread the floor effectively forcing the slower Rebels to defend them in open space. The Cavalier guards shredded the Rebel defense and fouled out the heart of the Rebel defense. Meanwhile on the other end with the loss of Cook and Getz to fouls the versatile Patton took up the challenge of defending Rebel big man Jay Hammel and did an excellent job. The TC bench play of Logan Waibel and Dalton Justice also did an outstanding job of helping inside and rebounding the basketball which allowed the Cavaliers to get the ball out on the break to attack the Rebels in transition. Riley Ewen shadowed Rebel scoring threat John Lanie in check allowing him only one three pointer on the night. The Rebels were collectively held to 27% shooting on the night.
The Cavaliers finished the fourth quarter holding the Rebels to 2 points in the quarter. The Cavaliers scored 11 in a ball control offense during the quarter to push the final margin to 24 points and securing their second Sectional Championship in the last 3 years. The Cavaliers will advance to the Regional at Triton High School in Boubon, Indiana. They will meet Gary 21st Century Charter School next Saturday morning. Details will be available by Tuesday for game times, ticket information and travel details. New Athletic Director Shawn McCracken will make those details available after attending the pre Regional meeting on Monday or Tuesday.