Lansing | After a fast start to the season it looked like Times No. 5 T.F. South was about to fall into an old pattern Tuesday night in a South Suburban Conference crossover with Eisenhower.
“Last year we really struggled when we faced teams we’d beaten for a second time,” T.F. South coach Steve Breshock said. “One of our goals this year was to not lose those second games, to not just play them on paper.”
Trailing 9-3 after the first three minutes of the game T.F. South went on a 29 point run to blow the game wide open and cruise to an easy victory.
Sophomore guard Ren’Cia Rolling led the charge with 22 first half points as the Rebels (5-1) turned that run into a 43-17 halftime advantage.
On the night, four different Rebels scored in double figures including co-captain Kameron Dickens who had 11 points, four rebounds, and a game high four steals.
“We had some first-second jitters in the first few minutes’” Dickens said. “We watched the film from last game and saw where we needed to improve, once we settled down we were able to work together and get ready to play.”
Coming into the season, Breshock knew what he had in Dickens and co-captain Ninah Bertrand, but the play of Rolling and fellow Sophomore India Pierson (14 points, six rebounds) have added a dimension to the Rebels this season.
“Ren’cia is playing more under control right now,” Breshock said. “Inda has put together her two best games of the season the last two games. She is facing the basket on her post move, contributing on the boards, and seeing the floor much better.”
The fast progression of Rolling and Pierson have allowed Breshock to go deeper into his bench this season as well.
“We have a solid eight player rotation right now,” Breshock said. “We are also starting to get some minutes from a couple other players so that when people come in there is no drop in the energy level and even some improvement on defense.”
That was the name of the game tonight as the Rebels went to their bench early and often against the Cardinals (3-5) and used a stifling press to force over 20 turnovers.
T.F. South had 13 steals and out rebounded Eisenhower 26-13 to turn the early deficit into an easy victory.
“This feels amazing, the energy the team gives makes you want to play harder,” Dickens said. “We played well in the summer and I thought that sort of foreshadowed us continuing to grow and get better.”