The Tribe played like gangbusters in the opening half, jumping to a 47-19 lead that seemed untouchable.
At halftime, momentum switched uniforms. D-B became ragged and South perked up, outscoring the Indians 21-8 in the third period.
“In the third quarter we went away from doing things we normally do,’’ D-B coach Charlie Morgan said. “We got out of focus. I sort of understand it. The kids had a hard week in school with exams.
“It’s how you close that is important, not how you start a game. The defensive intensity wasn’t there. I was a little disappointed with some of the things that happened. Our guys will learn from this.’’
Todd Halvorsen, Marshall Hardy and Jamel Williams combined for 35 of D-B’s points. Halvorsen had 13 points, Hardy 12 and Williams 10.
Tyler Ashworth, Andrew Pickwell and Dustin Sims accounted for 39 of South’s total points. Ashworth finished with 14, Pickwell 13 and Sims 12.
Ashworth went down with a leg injury early in the second quarter but returned. He got 11 in the third period.
“When Tyler gives a great effort, he can be a super player,’’ South coach Mark Pendleton said.
D-B went to stall tactics with 3Â½ minutes remaining after South cut the deficit to 12 points. The strategy was uncharacteristic for a team that usually closes with a bang.
Much to South’s credit, there was a change in attitude during the break. The Rebels played man-to-man defense exclusively and became very aggressive.
“We didn’t give up,’’ Pendleton said. “That’s a testament to our kids. We came in at halftime and told them that we had to use the next 16 minutes to get better.
“We dug ourselves a 28-point hole in the first half but gradually got back in the game. In the first 16 minutes, we looked like a tired team; in the second half, it was D-B that looked tired.’’
South will play Providence Academy in the Sullivan North Christmas Classic at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 27.
D-B’s next action will be on Dec. 26 against Decatur, Ga., in the Arby’s Classic.
“That’s going to be a test for our team,” Morgan said. “Decatur is projected to win the classic.”
In the girls game, South raced to a 55-48 win over D-B.
Samantha Williams fired in 26 points and Natalie Pickwell added 13 for the Lady Rebels (9-1, 6-1).
“We had a slow start but kept our poise,’’ South coach Josh Tate said. “We took the lead and did a good job holding it. The leadership of Samantha and Natalie got us through it. Offensively and defensively, we played pretty well. This is not an easy place to play.’’
D-B’s top scorers were Blaine Frohlich with 17 points and Juli Osborne with 12.