LANSING | For a half, T.F. South looked like it would be able to stay with state power Hillcrest.
Then the Rebels let the ball and the game get away from them in a 62-48 South Suburban Blue loss on Friday.
T.F. South trailed 30-27 at halftime, but turned the ball over and let the Hawks (19-7, 12-0) get second and third shots and never recovered. Hillcrest outscored the Rebels 17-7 in the third quarter.
"We let them get too many offensive rebounds," South junior Jamahre Baker said. "We didn't hit the boards and turned the ball over too many times."
Hillcrest outrebounded the Rebels 33-26 and earned at least a share of the SSC Blue title.
Still, South fought back after being down by as many as 16 points in the third quarter and stayed within 11, but could not get that one run to get it over the hump.
"Same old story -- inconsistency," South coach John O'Rourke. "We play good for a half, then come out and struggle. That's been the story all year in close games.
"We have a lapse, turn the ball over, force some shots and then we're behind."
Junior Ka-Ton Mays said the third quarter was the difference.
"We were patient in the first half and didn't rush shots," Mays said. "Third quarter, we got down, turned the ball over and we starting forcing things.
"We score like four (seven) points in the third quarter and that is what hurt.
The Rebels (10-13, 6-6) had seven first-half turnovers, but six in the third quarter.
Kenny Doss led the Rebels in scoring with 14 points. Illya Galloway had nine rebounds.
Hillcrest had four players score in double figures. Jovan Mooring had 15 points, while Devin Harrison had 14. Taylor Adway and Kyle Oden had 12 each.