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Wolves win WRC opener over South Vermillion

Jan. 5—Parke Heritage played one solid offensive half and two great defensive halves of boys basketball Friday night in the old Clinton High School gym and that was enough to leave host South Vermillion in arrears in the Wabash River Conference opener for both teams.

The Wolves never trailed, quickly turned a five-point halftime lead into a double-figure advantage and wound up winning 59-38.

"Probably our best defensive game," coach Rich Schelsky of Parke Heritage said afterward. "These guys [the Wildcats] are good and they can really get it going offensively."

"We knew it was going to be a big game, potentially a conference championship game," said coach Vince Marietta of the Wildcats, "but offensively we couldn't find a shot.

"Going in at halftime only down five ... we expected to continue to play good defense and get something going offensively. But in the third quarter, Parke Heritage just wanted it more and we got tired."

As encouraging as the winning performance was — and it was pretty encouraging — the identity of the Wolves' two leading scorers will give future opponents more to worry about. B.T. Luce scored 13 points, displayed his all-around game and had arguably his best eight minutes of the season in the third-quarter explosion.

That made Luce the second-leading scorer for Parke Heritage because Carter Crum — he's a freshman, although the Wolves' cheering section doesn't even mention that anymore — had 21 points and 13 rebounds for game-high honors in both categories.

"[Crum] was the man tonight," coach Schelsky said. "That was the big matchup in the game.

"And B.T. has grown so much. He used to rate his game strictly on his jumper."

Parke Heritage got off to a quick 6-0 lead as the Wildcats missed their first eight field goal attempts, but the host team got back within 11-9 before Luce nailed a 3-pointer just ahead of the first-quarter buzzer.

South Vermillion was within three points twice and four points twice after that before the half ended with a 24-19 score.

But Renn Harper opened the third quarter with a basket and then Luce personally outscored the Wildcats 7-2, his rebound of his own miss making it a 33-21 game.

The Wildcats scored twice in a row, but Parke Heritage closed out the decisive third quarter with an 11-3 run that included what might be the play of the season. Luce poked the ball away and chased it to the other end, seemingly about to crash through the doors of the wonderful old facility and find himself sprawled on Blackman Street before he saved it backward. Crum — who else? — was there to make a layup, and the freshman followed with an offensive rebound for a three-point play that made it 44-28 at the third stop.

And then Max Dowd and Luce got the first two baskets of the fourth quarter (Luce's another putback) for a 20-point lead.

"I think that was one of our most complete performances," coach Schelsky said. "We were excellent defensively, and we played 16 good minutes offensively — obviously the last two [quarters]. We were a little too 1-on-1ish the first half."

Luke Bush led South Vermillion with 11 points, while Brayson Shoults had seven points and a team-high eight rebounds and Dylan Conder scored seven while playing tough defense on the Wolves' leading scorer Treigh Schelsky.

The Wildcats, who have another big WRC game Saturday on the road at Seeger, had a lengthy discussion after the game.

"Tonight was a good lesson for us," Marietta said. "We've got to find some leaders and we'll find out who our leaders are [Saturday night]."

PARKE HERITAGE (59) — Schelsky 2-11 5-6 10, Harper 3-7 2-4 9, Crum 10-12 1-1 21, Luce 5-10 1-2 13, Dowd 3-8 0-0 6, Harpold 0-0 0-0 0, McMullen 0-2 0-0 0, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Goins 0-0 0-0 0, McCalister 0-0 0-0 0, Mathis 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-50 FG, 9-13 FT, 59 TP.

SOUTH VERMILLION (38) — Bush 5-8 0-0 11, Shoults 3-14 1-1 7, Moulton 0-0 0-0 0, Wallace 1-11 0-0 3, Conder 2-9 3-4 7, Garzolini 2-6 0-0 6, Weir 0-1 0-0 0, Coleman 0-1 2-2 2, Matherly 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 14-51 FG, 6-7 FT, 38 TP.

Parke Heritage 14 10 20 15 — 59

South Vermillion 9 10 9 10 — 38

3-point shooting — PH 4-17 (Luce 2-6, Harper 1-3, Schelsky 1-4, Dowd 0-2, McMullen 0-2), SV 4-18 (Garzolini 2-4, Bush 1-2, Wallace 1-5, Weir 0-1, Shoults 0-3, Conder 0-3). Total fouls — PH 8, SV 13. Fouled out — none. Turnovers — PH 6, SV 13. Rebounds — PH 36 (Crum 13, Schelsky 5, Luce 5, Harper 3, Dowd 3, Brown, Goins, Team 5), SV 33 (Shoults 8, Wallace 6, Coleman 6, Conder 4, Garzolini 2, Bush, Weir, Matherly, Team 4). Assists — PH 11 (Harper 4, Luce 4, Dowd 3), SV 10 (Wallace 4, Shoults 2, Bush, Conder, Garzolini, Coleman). Steals — PH 9 (Dowd 3, Schelsky 2, Harper 2, Crum, Luce), SV 5 (Shoults 2, Bush, Moulton, Garzolini).

JV — Parke Heritage 48 (Brenden Goins 20), South Vermillion 30 (Mason Winters 11).

Next — South Vermillion (6-6, 0-1 WRC) plays Saturday night at Seeger. Parke Heritage (10-3, 1-0) hosts Covington next Friday.