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Diamond powers South to win over rival North

Tanner Cook • Jan 7, 2020 at 12:44 AM

KINGSPORT — Two good quarters sandwiched by two bad ones proved to be enough for the Sullivan South boys basketball team Monday night.

The Rebels blasted Sullivan North in the second and third periods — outscoring the Golden Raiders 53-21 — to take a 63-49 nonconference win in the crosstown rivalry game at J. Richard Carroll Gymnasium.

Senior guard Ben Diamond put the Rebels on his back after they fell behind 10-6 in the first quarter. Diamond netted 20 of his game-high 28 in the second period and outscored North by himself.

“Without that big second quarter from Ben, we probably don’t win this game tonight,” South coach Michael McMeans said. “We’ve played a lot of basketball over the last few days and having until Friday off will help us reset, I think.

“We do play at Central on Friday and that will be a tough environment. It’s a conference and rivalry game, so there’s something extra to it.”

The Rebels’ offense was sloppy at best in the opening eight minutes when they played without much flow and far too much isolation.

The Golden Raiders took advantage of the slow pace to grab the lead, but South responded rather quickly. The Rebels raced off on an 11-0 run and never looked back, seeing their lead balloon to as many as 28 points at the end of the third.

However, South’s substitutes didn’t play particularly well and made several errant passes that led to North points. This allowed the Raiders to make it interesting late — down 13 with 1:27 to go after nearly halving their deficit.

Cole Layne finished with 15 points for South.

Isaiah Pruitt led North with 19 and Christian Hill contributed 12.

LADY REBELS SPRINT TO WIN

In their 74-27 victory, Lady Rebels sprinted out to a 14-4 lead thanks to a backcourt trapping strategy and they had a 31-13 advantage after one quarter.

Sullivan South’s Nicole Troutman scored the first six points of the third quarter and the Lady Rebels had a 19-3 run in the period. They allowed only seven North points in the second half.

Nearly everyone scored for South, spearheaded by Troutman’s 22-point total that included 13 in the first quarter alone. The Lady Rebels’ Alex Harris added 13.

Sahara Bates led the Lady Raiders with nine points.