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Big third quarter, rebounding give Harrison boys basketball season-opening victory

November 28, 2012
Harrison ( West Lafayette ) High School

Harrison’s Cole Smith score eight of his game-high 12 points in the third quarter and the Raiders also used a big rebounding edge to pull away from North Montgomery 51-31 in Harrison’s season opener.

The Raiders outrebounded the Chargers 37-22 and their 16-6 edge in the third quarter took command of the game. Smith did his damage over a four-minute stretch of the third quarter when he went 4-for-4 from the field. His last basket at the 2:10 mark gave the Raiders its biggest lead, 36-22.

Harrison’s defense took care of the rest, limiting the Chargers to two baskets in the quarter.

Jacob Bower pulled down 11 rebounds, while Noah Thomas added nine boards for the game.

“In the third quarter we tried to come out strong and get into our man defensively,” Smith said. “The offense started to flow and we were moving the ball quick and setting screens. We all got in foul trouble in the first half but we finally got our team back out on the court. We take pride in our rebounding and defensive ability.”

Harrison coach Mark Rinehart was a result of Smith and his teammates playing within the offense.

“Cole’s capable of doing that for us,” Rinehart said. “He was under control the whole quarter. He’s a good shooter when he shoots the right shots. We had four guys with two fouls in the first half. The thing I’m most proud of was that we were able to keep our defensive intensity in the second half without fouling.”

The spark for the rally actually happened right before halftime when Evan Bond came off the bench and made a 3-pointer just as time expired to give Harrison a 24-19 edge.

“That’s what his role is,” Rinehart said of Bond. “He’s a senior who hasn’t played in a couple of years. I think he may have had a heart attack when I grabbed him to go in the game. It went in, and we responded to it.”

North Montgomery coach Joel Grindle said the shot helped undo what the Chargers had been successful at most of the first half, which was keeping Harrison from gaining an emotional edge.

“They hadn’t hit a 3-pointer all night and we were a little late on our rotation but that was a big shot and it gave them some momentum going into the third quarter,” Grindle said. “They’re a team that plays on a lot of emotion and we were trying not to let them get on a run. They got on a roll and for us, learning how to stop those in the future will be a key.”

North Montgomery had taken the lead on two different occasions before the 3-pointer. A Grant Gaylor jumper with 1:55 left gave North Montgomery its last lead at 17-16. He led the Chargers with 11 points.

Mark Huston’s jumper 15 seconds later, followed by Bobby Rogers’ driving layup, put the Raiders back in charge.

“We had some serious nerves on this first night,” Rinehart said. “We didn’t lose our defensive intensity, and I think that’s a sign of the maturity I think we have a chance to have. We’ve got an awful lot of work to do on both ends of the floor but that was a good start.”

Rinehart said the Raiders’ defensive effort on the boards, particularly holding a 21-9 rebounding edge in the second half, was welcomed news. He said the Raiders will need that kind of effort to be successful.

“That’s exactly the mentality we need to have on the boards,” Rinehart said. “We want to be a smash-mouth basketball team. We put a lot of time and energy into playing with strength and getting into the weight room. It was nice for them to see even if we struggle that we can play through it.”

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