Rebels score twiceRebels score twice
The South Effingham Mustangs wanted to keep Perry Herbert under wraps. Effingham County’s Nolan Spake had an answer.
Spake hit four 3-pointers and scored 22 points as the Rebels, thanks to a late flurry of free throws, downed their in-county rivals 60-38 Saturday night.
“We knew we had a win at South Effingham and we expected them to come in wanting to get revenge,” Dickey said.
“We knew we had to be up for it.”
The Rebels put the game away with 10 free throws in the final two and a half minutes. Their first three attempts came after Mustangs coach Jason Keeler was assessed two technical fouls, the first technicals of his 14-year coaching career. The initial technical apparently was called because of comments from fans behind the Mustangs’ bench. When Keeler left the coaching box to argue his side, he was hit with another technical.
The two technicals mean Keeler cannot coach in the Mustangs’ next two games — at home Tuesday against Burke County and Friday against Hephzibah. It also means a $250 fine.
“I hate it for him,” Dickey said. “It’s no fun to have to hear about your team playing and not get to watch them.”
Herbert hit three of the four ensuing foul shots and converted a one-and-one 4 seconds later for a 52-35 lead, putting the game out of reach.
The Rebels led for the final three and a half quarters, behind Spake’s first-half 3-point shooting. His 3 on a Herbert assist opened up a 14-7 lead to open the second quarter, and the two combined on another 3 to put the Rebels up 17-9.
After Herbert finally shook loose for a 3 of his own midway through the period, the Rebels led 24-11.
“We did what we wanted to by trying to take Perry out of the game,” Keeler said. “For the first three quarters, we kept him in check and were not giving him open looks. We have to help too much and that hurt us on (Spake). He deserves a lot of credit.”
Spake had 11 points in the first half, and the Rebels had four of their six 3-pointers in the first half, eventually taking a 27-18 lead.
“He’s a smart player and he can shoot from the outside,” Dickey said of Spake. “He got a couple of pick and pop plays and he knocked them down. All season long, they’ve been our primary scorers. Nolan had the hot hand tonight. We kept going to him.”
Jonathan Duff opened the second half with a 3 and Spake converted a four-point play on his fourth 3 of the night to put the Rebels in front 34-20. His putback midway through the quarter widened the margin to 36-20.
But the Mustangs clawed back to within striking distance, getting a 3 from Eddie Harris on an inbounds pass just before the third quarter buzzer and a Harris layup to start the fourth.
Following Alex Reid’s 3, Jaron Mullins hit one of two foul shots after the Rebels were charged with a technical. But the ensuing possession ended in a turnover, leaving Effingham with a 45-35 lead.
“We just didn’t take advantage of the opportunities,” Keeler said. “We get right to the top of the mountain and instead of fighting through the pain and taking the last few steps, we say it’s too far to go.
“I know one day it’s going to click. I told them after the game, the day you get over that hump, you’re going to be an awfully tough team to beat.”
Herbert added 14 for the Rebels (3-8), while Steven Tarpley scored nine, Daryl Wright had seven, Duff added six and Marquel Manior had two points. The Rebels were 25 of 37 from the line.
“I was pleased with our free throw shooting,” Dickey said, adding he was pleased to see his team put together four solid quarters. “That’s a pretty good percentage for us. The refs called a tight game and we had to adjust to that. We did a good job of not picking up cheap fouls.”
Jaron Mullins topped the Mustangs (5-9), who fell 46-32 to Benedictine on Friday night, with 10 points. Tanner Burch had nine, Harris and Zach Anderson each had seven, Alex Reid scored three and Aaron Fisher had two points.