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Sullivan tops North to extend winning streak to 10

Photo by B.J. HARGIS :Sullivan center Jackson Hills finds the path to the basket blocked by several Terre Haute North defenders.

TERRE HAUTE — Sullivan made 7 of 8 foul shots in the final 83 seconds as the Class 3A No. 8 Golden Arrows held off host Terre Haute North for a 59-53 victory on Wednesday night in a high school boys basketball game.

The win was the 10th in a row for the Golden Arrows, who improved to 19-2. North dropped to a deceiving 12-10.

“I am not so sure that North is not the best team on our schedule, especially the way they are playing right now,” said Sullivan coach Jeff Moore. “They could easily have 16 or 17 wins as they have lost six or seven games by one possession.

“This was a great win on the road against a very good team. We knew we were going to play three tough games this week and we wanted to keep playing well and come out with three wins. We got the first two with one more to go.”

Just like in their 55-54 win over West Vigo at home on Jan. 16, a Sullivan player was foul while shooting a 3-pointer. Last month, it was Randy Kelley who made three free throws to put the Arrows ahead to stay.

After Makhi Johnson fouled Braden Flanagan, the senior guard knocked down all three freebies for a 55-53 Sullvian lead with 1:23 remaining.

After the Patriots threw the ball away, Randy Kelley was fouled and made two foul shots for a 57-53 Sullivan advantage with 31.1 seconds to play.

North missed its final three shots while Flanagan made two free throws after Jackson Hills missed one, accounting for the final two points.

Sullivan was 7 of 8 shooting free throws in the final eight minutes, but just 12 of 17 overall. But North made just 4 of 7 at the foul line. 

“We hit some big free throws down the stretch,” said Moore. “The game was very competitive.

“Every time we got down, we battled back and made plays.”

North led 13-9 before Sullivan went on a 7-1 run, The Arrows, who made 6 of 11 shots in the opening stanza, came back to lead 16-14.

Sullivan started the second quarter on a 7-3 spurt, taking a 23-17 advantage. North got the lead down to 23-22, but Sullivan forged ahead 30-24 at intermission after a basket in the post by Jackson Hills, who led Sullivan with 15 points and eight rebounds.

A 3-pointer by Matt Gauer and baskets in the paint by Mark Hankins and Johnson gave the Patriots a 43-42 lead after three.

A hoop by Colin Frank made it 45-42 hosts, but Hills scored two baskets, sandwiched around an offensive rebound hoop by Luke Adams as the Arrows led 48-45 with 5:10 remaining.

North got hoops from Gauer, Johnson and Bryson Carpenter as they went back ahead 51-48 at the 3:17 mark.

Hills and Kelley scored Sullivan’s final two field goals, putting the Arrows ahead by one point with 2:28 remaining.

Johnson scored as North took its final lead at 53-52 before the Sullivan free throw-shooting exhibition by Sullivan to close out the win.

Kelley tallied 14 points, two rebounds, two assists and one steal. Rocco Roshel came off the bench to make three triples and a two for 11 points.

Flanagan also reached double figures with 12 points. 

Hankins paced North with 17 points, Gauer 13 and Johnson tallied 11 points.

North won the JV game 48-34.

Sullivan will conclude the regular season at home on Friday against Class A No. 4 North Daviess, who is 18-3. The Cougars went 7-0 to win the Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference title, including a 66-60 win over Linton.

It will be homecoming for the Golden Arrows. The royalty will be crowned after the JV game, which starts at 6 p.m., and before the varsity.

“It will be another tough game to end the regular season,” said Moore. “We are looking forward to the challenge.

Sullivan, who has not lost a game since a 60-50 setback at Greencastle on Jan. 11,  will open play at the Class 3A Washington Sectional 31 on Tuesday at 7 p.m. against the host Hatchets.

SULLIVAN (59) — Rocco Roshel 4 0-0 11, Braden Flanagan 3 5-5 12, Luke Adams 1 0-0 2, Randy Kelley 5 4-6 14, Will King 1 0-0 3, Gabe Pirtle 1 0-0 2, Jackson Hills 6 3-6 15. Totals 21 12-17 59.

TERRE HAUTE NORTH (53) — Mahki Johnson 5 0-1 12, Caden Mason 1 0-0 2, Bryson Carpenter 1 1-2 3, Mark Hankins 7 1-1 17, Matt Gauer 5 2-2 13, Nas McNeal 0 0-0 0, Colin Frank 3 0-0 6. Totals 22 4-7 53.

Sullivan 16 14 12 17 — 59

Terre Haute North 14 10 19 10 — 53

3-pointers — Sullivan 5 (Roshel 3, King, Flanagan), Terre Haute North 5 (Johnson 2, Hankins 2, Gauer). Fouls — Sullivan 10, Terre Haute North 11. Fouled out — None.

Rebounds — Sullivan 23, Terre Haute North 20. Assists — Sullivan 9, Terre Haute North 11. Steals — Sullivan 4, Terre Haute North 2. Turnovers — Sullivan 7, Terre Haute North 6, Blocks — Sullivan 0, Terre Haute North 1.

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