By Aaron Kirchoff Rushville Republican
---- — GREENSBURG – On the opening night of the boys basketball sectional, host Greensburg dominated South Dearborn 105-38 in the first game and Lawrenceburg held off the Lions 60-56 despite struggling in the fourth quarter at the charity stripe.
Lawrenceburg improves to 12-9 on the year while the Lions finish at 10-10.
Lawrenceburg opened the scoring with a 3-pointer by Jordan Kauffman. The Lions answered with a Mitch Laird triple before Adam Harves hit Lawrenceburg’s second 3-pointer to put the Tigers up 6-3.
The Tigers pushed the lead to 13-5 on a Mitch Martin 3-pointer and again Laird responded with a triple to cut the deficit to five. Following a Martin bucket, Bryce Dye drained a 3-pointer with one minute to play in the first quarter to get the Lions within four at 15-11. Jesse Hennies scored late for the Tigers, but a drive to the bucket by Kris Combs cut the deficit to 17-13 after the first quarter.
A Martin triple opened the second quarter. Cameron Cox got free in the lane for a bucket for the Lions before Martin scored again to make it 22-15. Alex Yurack scored the next four points for the Lions as the lead was down to three. After a Hennies rebound bucket, Nate Niehoff got on the board to again cut the deficit to three. Kauffman closed the half with a driving bucket that gave the Tigers a 28-23 lead at the break.
The Lions got off to a good start to the second half with a 7-2 run. Yurack started the spurt, Dye drained a 3-pointer and then dished to Cox for the bucket and a tie game 30-30. After a Lawrenceburg timeout, the Tigers scored the next 10 points to grab a 40-30 lead and force Rushville head coach Brian Bowen to call timeout. A set play out of the break got Niehoff open. He drew the foul and connected on a pair from the line to stop the Tiger run.
Kauffman and Hennies scored to close the third quarter with the Tigers up 44-32.
The Tigers kept the momentum with the first four points of the fourth quarter to lead by 16 points. A Cox block and Laird bucket on the other end cut the deficit to 48-34.
The Lions got within 10 on a Yurack free throw and then within nine at 53-44 on a Cox 3-pointer with 2:22 to play.
The Lions continued to fight back and cut the deficit to seven at 56-49 on a Combs tip and then again at 58-51 on two Combs free throws. After a Martin free throw, Laird hit another 3-pointer with :35.4 to play. Kauffman hit a free throw for the Tigers – one of only four in the fourth quarter. A late Cox bucket made the final margin 60-56 as the Tigers held off the Lions despite hitting just 4-of-14 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter.
Lawrenceburg had four players score in double figures – Hennies 20, Martin 13, Harves 11 and Kauffman 10. The Lions were led by Yurack with 14 followed by Laird 13, Combs 10 and Cox nine.
Semifinal action at Greensburg is set for 6 p.m. Friday with Franklin County taking on Greensburg in the opener and Batesville facing Lawrenceburg in the second game.
Contact: Aaron Kirchoff at 765-932-2222, ext. 114