LANSING | T.F. South may not get style points, but a win is still a win for the Rebels.
The Rebels climbed back to the 500 mark with a 59-55 win against Rich East Tuesday night. Jamahre Baker scored 14 and Illya Galloway added 10 points and 15 rebounds for the Rebels.
"We had a lack of focus at the beginning," Baker said, "but then we came together as a team. We came out with some lock out defense and controlled the ball."
The Rebels (9-9) led by 3 points with five seconds to go in the game and Rich East in possession of the ball. The Rockets were unable to connect on an open look from 3-point range, and T.F. South held on for the win.
"We finally got it together," Baker said. "Our coach got in our heads, and we played hard on defense. We played hard and finished on defense. We had an intense practice after our loss to Shepard, after that every man got focused defensively."
T.F. South trailed by two at the half but was able to gain a six-point lead with just less than three minutes to go. Donald Stone scored nine for the Rebels and brought down six rebounds. T.F. South won battle of the boards, out-rebounding the Rockets 36-25.
"That's what Coach wants me to do being a big man," Galloway said. "He wants me to get rebounds and be a defensive force on the post."
The Rebels have now won their last two games against Rich South, dating back to last season. Both wins came down to last second shots or misses. Rebel coach John O'Rourke is happy to see T.F. South compete with a foe it hadn't been able to handle in past years.
"I like to think we're getting better," O'Rourke said. "Rich East is always someone we look at and this is kind of a tell-tale game. In years past, this used to be a 10, 15, 20point loss. Now we're able to win two years in a row."