BRISTOL, Tenn. — In a game of runs, Urspring had the biggest and most timely run of all.
Urspring used a 27-8 second half run to rally for a 59-47 win over Sullivan South in Tuesday’s consolation matchup of the 31st Arby’s Classic at Viking Hall.
The German team, which came into the Arby’s as the defending champion, was knocked out of the tournament on Saturday when Tennessee High won 47-43. But Urspring was asked to play against the Rebels in the consolation game when Dobyns-Bennett declined to participate in the contest.
Urspring, with four players 6-foot-7 or taller, used its height advantage well in the early going and took a 15-7 lead with 1:58 to go in the first quarter. But South (8-6) went on a 13-2 run to end the period and found itself top 20-17.
The Rebels extended their lead to 26-17 before Urspring (10-2) answered with an 11-4 run that narrowed the deficit to 30-28.
South’s Colton Young closed the first half by hitting a 3-point shot at the buzzer to give his team a 33-28 lead going into the locker room.
Much of South’s first-half success came courtesy of the play of Mickey Winkle, who came off the bench and scored nine points.
“Winkle really had his motor going,” said South coach Mark Pendleton. “He played hard and hit some big shots.”
Baskets by Will Blair and Dalton Light to open the third period gave South its largest lead at 37-28.
It was all downhill from there for the Rebels, however.
A 13-2 run by Urspring put the Germans up 41-39 before Blair answered with another bucket to tie the contest at 41.
Urspring then embarked on an 11-0 run that made it 52-41 with 5:04 left to play and it was all over but the shouting.
“It was very simple,” said Urspring coach Michael Spoeker. “I told our team at halftime, there were no magical plays, we just had to play honest defense in the second half.
“Throughout the tournament we’ve had trouble defending guards,” he added. “And our weak-side help was bad. Once we started keeping their guards in front of us and then hitting some shots everything fell into place.”
Two fourth-quarter treys by Urspring’s Thomas Grun forced South to open up its defense. Once that happened, the Germans went back inside to their big men and there was no stopping them.
“Urspring really cut off the paint in the second half,” Pendleton said. “We couldn’t get the ball inside and then when we did, we had it in bad spots.
“They (Urspring) played some really good defense in the second half and hit some big shots. We just didn’t score enough points.”
Urspring outscored South 31-14 in the second half.
The Arby’s experience overall was a positive one for Pendleton and the Rebels.
“I think we can be a good basketball team,” he said. “We have to learn to deal with adversity, because we’ll see more of that as the season goes along.
“Getting the opportunity to play on the last day of the Arby’s is big for us. It wasn’t a game for a place, but it was a game against a very good team and hopefully that will help us as we move forward.”
Spoeker feels the same way about Urspring’s experience.
“We come back each year to get a better perspective of where we stand as a team,”he said. “In Germany, we are the best team. When we come here the teams play better fundamental basketball. It’s an awesome experience for us. We learn so much.”
Christian Sengfelder led Urspring with 16 points and nine rebounds. Grun added 12 points, and Mahir Agva scored 12 points and hauled in six boards.
Evan Headrick led South with 12 points. Blair added seven points and seven rebounds.