LANSING | Kameron Dickens has never played varsity basketball in an atmosphere or in front of a crowd quite like the one that filled T.F. South's gymnasium to near capacity Friday night.
The Rebels fans rocked the decibels off the walls of their own gymnasium, as the T.F. North faithful offered equally ear-piercing retorts.
In this atmosphere against a bitter rival, there was no way Dickens and the Rebels were going to let this one slip away.
Dickens rebounded from a scoreless first half to put up a game-high 14 points and help give South a 45-38 win over North, the Rebels' first win in their last 10 games against the Meteors.
"You always want to beat a rival," Dickens said. "Especially when you haven't beaten them in so long, you're just ready to do it."
The Meteors led for almost the whole game. It wasn't until Morgan Ellison's 3-pointer with 3:40 to go that South (9-12, 7-4 South Suburban Conference Blue) took its first lead of the night, going up 31-30.
The Rebels ended up scoring 25 points in the fourth quarter to put the game away late.
"We wanted to prove to our coach (Steve Breshock), especially, that we could actually do it," Dickens said. "We can put effort forth."
It was obvious Dickens and the Rebels brought extra intensity to the court. The effort was there from the outset. However, the shots simply weren't falling early, as T.F. North took a 12-5 lead at the end of the first quarter.
"I started the offense, and they were shutting me down," Dickens said. "I was completely rattled. We were all rattled."
Down 19-12 at halftime, Breshock knew a pep talk needed to be made.
"I told them all just to relax and shoot with confidence," he said. "When you're going to shoot, shoot like you think it's going to go in. They played a very good game, all around. I have no complaints about any of them."
The Meteors committed 32 total turnovers and sent the Rebels to the free throw line 40 times.
"We had good chemistry in the first half," North coach Chris Pruitt said. "I think when the crowd came in, we lost focus and (Breshock) probably told them to bring up the energy and they did. They brought it with their crowd."
The Meteors were led by Devin Luster's 11 points.