Hulls Carries South Past New Albany

Seymour – Jordan Hulls and Bloomington South survived the battle of the unbeatens. Hulls had 12 points, six assists and four steals to lead No. 1 Bloomington South (23-0) to a 61-50 win over No. 2 New Albany (23-1) Saturday morning in the Seymour regional...

Seymour – Jordan Hulls and Bloomington South survived the battle of the unbeatens.

Hulls had 12 points, six assists and four steals to lead No. 1 Bloomington South (23-0) to a 61-50 win over No. 2 New Albany (23-1) Saturday morning in the Seymour regional. South advanced to Saturday night's 8 p.m. regional final against Terre Haute South, which knocked off Evansville Harrison in the second contest.

All five South starters finished in double figures, with Erik Fromm leading the way with 14, followed by 13 from Spencer Turner.

Playing in front of IU Coach Tom Crean, Hulls came up with the game's biggest play in the final 0.6 of the opening half. Moments after having his shot blocked by New Albany junior Donnie Hale on a driving layup in the closing seconds, Hulls took the ensuing in-bounds from David Blackwell and drilled a 30-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer.

It was Hulls' only 3-pointer on the day, as he finished 3-of-7 from the floor.

The play not only sent the Panthers into the locker room with a 27-19 lead, but also sent New Albany Coach Jim Shannon into a rage. Shannon thought South guard Spencer Turner had fouled his player on the scrum following Hale's blocked shot, and stormed to center court to argue with the referee about the call.

"That was a huge momentum builder," Hulls said of the shot. "I just kind of threw it up. We were messing around yesterday after practice throwing up halfcourt shots, and luckily that went in. that was big getting that going into halftime and have some momentum coming out."

While Hulls' buzzer beater gave Bloomington South a lift heading into intermission, New Albany's biggest issue wasn't Hulls' shot or even the officials' call, but their own inability to capitalize on numerous opportunities at the free-throw line. New Albany was just 10-of-23 at the free-throw line, including a 2-of-7 effort from Hale. The long-armed junior finished with 10 points, five rebounds and three blocks.

South extended the lead to 40-27 at the end of three quarters and then pushed it to 20, 50-30, following a fastbreak layup by Hulls midway through the fourth quarter.

After struggling in the sectional with hard fought wins against Bloomington North and East Central, Bloomington South never trailed against the unbeaten Bulldogs. Spencer Turner connected on a 3-pointer to open scoring in the first quarter, and New Albany was left to try to play catch-up the rest of the way.

"We like to get up and down the floor, so it was more our style," said Hulls, comparing New Albany's approach to the slow-it-down style of both North and East Central. "We got some fast break points, and we played a lot better."


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