Boys Varsity Basketball · Second-half surge powers Hebron past South Central

UNION MILLS — A big second half was the trick for Hebron on Friday.

The Hawks used defensive pressure to overcame a 10-point halftime deficit, outscoring host South Central 22-12 in the fourth quarter to pull out a 56-48 Porter County Conference victory.

“We were kind of testing the waters in the first half, seeing what we needed to do as far as how much pressure we need to put on them,” Hebron coach Mike Grennes said.

Brendan Carr, S.C.’s 6-foot-8 center, was a problem for an undersized Hebron team with 20 points and 13 rebounds, but the Hawks’ ability to get after the Satellites in the backcourt, notably Riley Blank, limited his touches in the second half.

“Carr’s a load inside, we know that,” Grennes said. “We pressured the guards and he wasn’t as much of a factor as he was earlier. Riley played a hell of a second half.  Quickness, great hands, he really stepped up defensively and caused some real havoc for their guards and that was the turning point I think in the second half. We got into them a little bit and got some turnovers and actually scored off those turnovers, which helped too. When Carr gets in a little foul trouble, he isn’t as aggressive by the basket. That helped also.”

In contrast to Carr, who did most of his damage before the half, Hawks junior guard Reece Marrs heated up after the break, pouring in 20 of his game-high 23 points after the break, including 16 in the fourth quarter alone.

“He’s a scorer and I know he can get frustrated when he gets locked down, but we tell him all the time that’s what’s gonna happen to you when you can score,” Grennes said. “I told them at halftime I didn’t think we were getting enough movement. We would make two or three passes and give up after the third or fourth pass. Once we got that ball movement going, all of a sudden, he’s getting more looks and he starts scoring.”

Griffin Moore added 15 points and Drew Grennes chipped in nine with both knocking down a trio of 3s for Hebron (6-4, 2-2).

“We have guys that can get to the basket and guys that can shoot,” coach Grennes said. “When we did drive and kick, we got some good looks. We did a good job of attacking the rim.”

Foul trouble plagued the Satellites with Carr, Brady Glisic and Trent Hudspeth all running into issues. Hudspeth scored 13 for S.C. (0-4, 0-2), with 11 coming in the second quarter when he hit three 3s.

“Brendan’s a great player and he’s the focal point of our offense and we did a good job of getting him the ball, especially in the first half,” acting South Central coach Kurt Welsh said. “When we were actually able to get it to him in the second half, he scored. We just had trouble getting it into position to get it to him. We didn’t handle that half-course pressure and that trap too well. Too many turnovers.”

Welsh is filling for Satellites head coach Joe Wagner, who is in quarantine until Friday. They were playing for the first time in four weeks due to COVID issues.

“Being down 10 and coming back like we did, on the road, a conference game against a good team, and they’re a good team — I know they haven’t won but they’re a good team — I was  very pleased with the way we played,” Grennes said.

— CJ Peters contributed to this story.