UNION MILLS — If South Central thought it was seeing double Friday against Kouts, it's because they were.
Not only do the Mustangs have two sets of twins in the Wireman and Kneifel brothers, the four juniors were all over the court, giving the Satellites fits at both ends.
"The Wiremans are very savvy, they have a knack for getting their hands on passes," S.C. coach Joe Wagner said. "The Kneifels are real active, and that bothered us."
The twin duos combined for 48 points, 21 rebounds and nine steals in carrying Class A No. 4 Kouts past South Central 57-41 in the Porter County Conference.
"Hunter and Parker (Kneifel) are real long on the wings," Kouts coach Kevin Duzan said. "They're so much better than they were a year ago, both offensively as well as defensively. We've got to use that length in a zone, then out front, try to pressure, maybe get an overplay and a steal. To help on Brendan (Carr) inside, we had to have pressure out top. I thought (Connor McCormack) played Brendan as well as we could have hoped. really thought defense was key on him."
Carr, the Satellites' 6-foot-8 center, led the hosts with 13 points and 13 rebounds, but wasn't a big factor until the fourth quarter, at which points S.C. was chasing double digits. Kouts hindered South Central's efforts to get the ball in the paint to Carr largely with perimeter ball pressure and by forcing cross-court passes against its zone that resulted in several direct steals and baskets.
"We did a pretty poor job attacking it," Wagner said. "We were playing east-west, not getting in the gaps, utilizing the high post, utilizing Brendan. I take responsibility for that. We had to adjust to the speed early on. We kept them out of transition out of rebounds and makes. We talked about our offense having to be our best defense as far as not turning the ball over. We call 'em turnovers for touchdowns and we gave up too many pick sixes."
The Satellites (2-2, 0-1) made just 3 of 12 treys, six of 16 free throws and gave up the ball 19 times, by and large negating a defensive effort that kept the Mustangs (5-0, 2-0) from approaching their 84 points per game average.
"We did some good things defensively, but we've got to score more than 41," Wagner said. "I don't think we worked together very well. I try to give guys some leeway, but there were multiple situations when we forced it on two, three guys. We've got to make the right play, trust your teammates. I thought we had some selfish play. If we lose, I can handle that, but we get out-competed. I thought we got out-toughed. I can't accept that. I'm disappointed in the guys and hopefully they're disappointed, too. We're better than what we showed."
Kouts led from the opening basket, jumping in front 12-2. Carr helped S.C. edge within five at 21-16 in the second quarter and it was a 36-29 game in the third before the Mustangs pulled away to lead by as many as 17 late.
"I felt like we left some points out there," Duzan said. "Part of it is the physical style of the game. They made it that kind of game. They competed. We knew it wouldn't be easy. They made us earn it."
Cole Wireman's 21 topped all scorers as Kouts' starters had all of their points. Zack Christy picked up 12 for S.C.
Kouts 57, South Central 41
Brendan Carr had 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Satellites.