By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Mustangs bounce back
South Effingham builds big lead early, rolls past Benedictine
01.24 sehs hoops bynes
South Effingham’s Jamaal Bynes tries to wrestle a rebound away from Benedictine’s Colin Barnes in the Mustangs’ 69-55 victory over the Cadets on Tuesday night. Barnes, a 6-foot-7 center, was held to six points. - photo by Photo by Pat Donahue

The South Effingham Mustangs basketball team nearly scored as many points in the fourth quarter Tuesday night against Benedictine as they did in the entire game Friday night against Richmond Hill.

The Mustangs coasted to an easy win over the Cadets, beating them 69-55 at The Corral.

“We felt like we were ready, and we were ready,” South Effingham coach Jason Keeler said. “What really doesn’t show all the time is the time we spend preparing for teams specifically.”

Keeler concocted a defense to neutralize the Cadets’ 6-foot-7 Colin Barnes and 6-foot-5 Daniel Coursey, and it started out on the perimeter against the Cadets’ guards.

“Number one, you’ve got to pressure the ball. I thought we did a good job of not giving up easy passes to the post,” Keeler said. “And No. 2, you’ve got to have help on the backside. I thought we did both of those things tonight. If we could frustrate their ball handlers, we knew we could defend the post.”

Barnes gave the Cadets their lone lead of the game, 11-9, with 53 seconds to go in the first quarter. Benedictine didn’t score again for the next 8:41.

Eddie Harris banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer to put the Mustangs in front 12-11. And while the Cadets misfired from in close and from the free throw line, the Mustangs continued to convert on the offensive end. Including Harris’ 3, the Mustangs ripped off 22 straight points. Jamaal Bynes capped the run with a steal and layup for a 31-11 lead before Coursey made a free throw — BC’s lone point of the second quarter.

South Effingham’s lead swelled to 21 points, 43-22, on Alex Reid’s 3-pointer late in the third quarter. The Mustangs, coming off a 52-27 loss to Richmond Hill, took a 43-26 lead into the fourth and scored 26 points in the final period.

Zach Anderson, who led the Mustangs with 22 points, was 10-of-10 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter and 12-of-12 for the game. He sank four free throws, including two technical foul shots, for a 63-41 advantage.

“There was no doubt who was shooting the tech,” Keeler said, noting Anderson’s hot hand from the charity stripe. “We’re starting to shoot the ball with more confidence.”

Tanner Burch’s layup off Justin Hatten’s inbounds lob gave South Effingham its largest lead, 65-41, with 2:23 to play.

“We had more assists tonight than we’ve had all season long,” Keeler said.

The first-year coach had been imploring his team to play more like the JV squad.

“The JV guys understand how to play together,” he said.

Hatten and Reid each finished with eight points, while Burch and Harris had seven points each. Aaron Fisher and Steven Williams each had six points, Bynes had three points and Jaron Mullins had two. South Effingham finished 29-of-38 from the foul line.

Jabri Bryan led the Cadets with 21 points while A.J. DeFillipis had 10 points.