VERNE — In a boys basketball game where both teams appeared in mid-season form, Sullivan made 11 of 13 free throws in the fourth quarter as the Golden Arrows defeated host South Knox 61-59 on Wednesday night. It was the season-opener for both squads.

Sullivan led all but 12 seconds in the second half but never by more than seven points.

“We beat a good team tonight,” said Jeff Moore, who began his 32nd season as coach at Sullivan. “They returned four starters from last year.”

Sullivan made 17 of 19 free throws compared to 8 of 12 for the Spartans. Randy Kelley was 8 of 8 at the foul line, 

Jackson Hills (3 of 3), Luke Adams (2 of 2) and Rocco Roshel (1 of 1) combined to make 6 of 6 free throws and Jack Ridgway was 3 of 5, all in the fourth quarter.

He made two in the final 37 seconds to account for Sullivan’s final two points.

“We’ve got a lot of players that can step up and make free throws,” said Moore. “We spread the floor and put the ball in the hands of Randy, who made plays for others or himself. He got to the line and made all eight of his free throws.”

Sullivan trailed by as many as eight points - 20-12 - in the first half but went on a 14-5 spurt over the final 3 ½ minutes to take a 26-25 advantage at intermission.

A steal led to an old-fashioned three-point play by Roshel, giving Sullivan its first lead of the opening 16 minutes.

“We went on a nice run to get back into the game at halftime,” said Moore. “South Knox played well in the first half and continued to give us all we wanted in the last two quarters.”

Roshel buried one of his five 3-pointers as Sullivan took its largest lead - 37-30 - midway in the third quarter.

Roshel hit 5 of 9 triples and tallied 18 points.

“Rocco is starting this year instead of coming off the bench,” said Moore. “But his role is still to make open shots.

“He is one of the best, if not the best, shooters I have ever coached.”

South Knox closed the deficit to 43-42 after a three-point play by Brady Robinson to end the third quarter.

Dakota Candler, who led the Spartans with 22 points, hit a 3-pointer with 4:17 remaining to give South Knox a 51-50 lead, its first since 25-23 late in the second quarter.

But Roshel’s 3-pointer put Sullivan back in front for good at 53-51.

Sullivan’s final basket was a perfect give-and-go from Jackson Hills to Kelley, resulting in a 57-52 lead with 77 seconds remaining.

Adams hit a pair of free throws some 20 seconds later before Ridgway’s last two freebies.

Kelley led the winners with 22 points. Hills added nine.

Sullivan committed just four turnovers and made half of its 38 field goal attempts.

“That’s who we are,” said Moore. “We only averaged six a game last year.

“I think we left a lot of points on the board in the first half,” said Moore. “We missed some easy shots.

“But this was just our first game.”

South Knox shot .573 (23 of 40) and only had eight turnovers, but committed one on the final possession as time expired.

Brady Robinson scored 11 points and Brennon Robinson each scored 10 points for South Knox.

South Knox rallied to win the JV game.

Sullivan will be off until Friday when they play at Northview in a Western Indiana Conference game.


SULLIVAN (61) — Rocco Roshel 6-10 1-1 18, Luke Adams 0-3 2-2 2, Marcus Roshel 0-0 0-0 0, Randy Kelley 7-15 8-8 22, Eli Gettinger 1-1 0-0 3, Jack Ridgway 2-3 3-5 7, Javyn Woodard 0-0 0-0 0, Jackson Hills 3-6 3-3 9. Totals 19-38 17-19 61.

SOUTH KNOX (59) — Sam Singleton 2-3 0-0 4, Dylan Maeder 1-6 0-1 2, Tristan Wirth 2-6 0-0 6, Brennon Robinson 4-5 1-4 10, Jackson Thomas 2-3 0-0 4, Dakota Candler 8-10 5-5 22, Logan Fisher 0-0 0-0 0, Brady Robinson 4-7 2-2 11, Totals 22-40 8-12 59. 

Sullivan  9 17 17 18 — 61

South Knox 12 13 17 17 — 59

-point shooting — Sullivan 6-18 (R. Roshel 5-9, Gettinger 1-1, Ridgway 0-1, Adams 0-2, Kelley 0-5), South Knox 5-9 (Wirth 2-3, Candler 1-1, Bre.Robinson 1-1, Bra. Robinson 1-1, Maeder 0-3). Fouls — Sullivan 13, South Knox 20. Fouled out — Thomas. Rebounds — Sullivan 15 (Hills 4, Ridgeway 4), South Knox 23 (Bre. Robinson 7). Assists — Sullivan 8 (Kelley 4), South Knox 11 (Thomas 3). Steals — Sullivan 4 (Kelley 2), South Knox 3 (Bre. Robinson 2). Turnovers — Sullivan 4, South Knox 8. Blocks — Sullivan 2 (Ridgway, Hills), South Knox 2 (Singleton, Bre. Robinson).


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