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Rebels have no answer for Hupmann

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By ZANE CLODFELTER

Sports editor

sports@spencercountyjournal.com // zclodfelter@spencercountyjournal.com

EVANSVILLE - Without Coach David Kruse on the sideline, South Spencer trailed most of the game and fell to Day School 58-51 in boys basketball Friday.

Kruse was dealing with health issues earlier in the week and hoped to be back before the weekend, but instead JV coach Jesse Howell served as the acting coach against the Eagles.

“We all just want him to get better,” Howell said. “Of course he wanted to be here tonight and it’s hard for him not to come.”

Howell said the coaching staff had to make adjustments before the game.

“It’s a different thing for all of us but I think we have a good coaching staff, so it shouldn’t have been that difficult,” he said. “I don’t think it is an excuse for losing the game.”

In addition to Kruse, South Spencer was without injured Collin Stewart for the second consecutive game and Manning Webb didn’t play because of an unspecified violation of team rules according to Howell.

Being shorthanded didn’t bode well for the Rebels against 6-foot-10 Noah Hupmann of Day School. Hupmann had a triple-double, finishing with 11 points, 17 rebounds and 11 blocks.

“I think it was less him and what he was able to do scoring and more just not being used to playing against a 6-10 player,” Howell said. “Offensively for us, it took us really a few quarters where we figured out he was standing in the lane and was going to block our shot.

“I think the problem defensively was we guarded him well and the next guy got an offensive rebound because we didn’t block out.”

Day School built a 16-9 lead by the end of the first quarter and by halftime it grew to 31-23.

Hupmann did most of his offensive damage in the third quarter, scoring eight points that period.

The Rebels entered the fourth down seven at 44-37.

They pulled within five at 56-51 when Jace Kelly hit a three-point basket with just under a minute left. But they couldn’t get any closer.

“I think we got good shots, we just missed them,” Howell said. “We missed six or seven shots we could have made, a couple layups.

“We definitely need guys to step up and I thought they did tonight but sometimes the shots didn’t go in and there isn’t much you can do about that.”

Dylan Kelly once again led the Rebels with 21 points and Jaylen Taylor added 11.

“We have a long way to go, but fortunately we have time before sectionals at the beginning of March,” Howell said. “It’s a good thing for us to see that we need to get better.

“It’s a wake-up call to get beat by a team I thought we were going to beat.”

He also said South Spencer lacked effort at the beginning of the game.

“We have played behind in a lot of games and it’s difficult to do that consistently and win consistently,” he said. “The effort at the end of the game, if we would’ve matched that at the beginning of the game the turnout might have been different.

“The effort was definitely better later on and we played better down the stretch but didn’t have things go our way.”

On Saturday, South Spencer beat South Central 71-53 as Webb scored 22 points in his return to the lineup. Kelly also scored 22.

The Rebels built a 19-12 lead after the first quarter before leading by six at halftime at 37-31.

South Spencer stands at 5-6 while Day School improved to 4-6 and South Central fell to 3-9.

The Rebels will host Forest Park Friday at 7 p.m.