EVANSVILLE — South Knox's boys are finding out basketball lessons are hard to learn, especially when a team like Class 3A No. 4 Evansville Bosse is the teacher.
The Bulldogs erased a Spartans' 12-point lead in the final 5:30 behind Division I prospect Julian Norris' offense and defense, staying unbeaten with a 56-54 victory Wednesday.
It was the second consecutive fourth-quarter fade route for South Knox (5-5) against tough competition on the road. Bedford North Lawrence tallied the first eight points of the last quarter Saturday, overcoming a deficit in a 36-30 win.
On Wednesday, it was Norris that led the comeback, scoring 10 of his game-high 28 in the final stanza. Garrett Holscher and Cody Dawson led a balanced Spartans attack with 13 and 12 points.
Turnovers were a common factor in both defeats. Bosse (6-0) went to a press in the second half that paid dividends in the fourth quarter when South Knox committed six turnovers.
"The boys worked extremely hard all game, executed well and put themselves in position to win against a good, athletic team," Spartans assistant coach Jim Farris said. "The quickness they have, though, is something we just don't see. They switched their pressure, and we just didn't hit our spots.
"We'll learn a lot from this film."
South Knox had a chance at the end, but struggles trying to commit a foul proved costly.
Brennon Robinson, who had nine points, scored in the lane to cut the gap to 55-54 with 12 seconds to go. Bosse, however, ran off nine seconds before Norris was fouled. He hit the front end of the one and bonus and rimmed the second. But with just three seconds remaining, South Knox didn't get off a shot at the buzzer.
The game had eight lead changes in the opening half, but the Spartans had advantages of 14-11 and 28-27 at the first two quarter stops. South Knox scored the last six points of the opening half, with Dawson converting a three-point play and Robinson draining a 3-pointer.
Dylan Maeder scored all eight of his points in a 19-point Spartans third quarter, and South Knox ended the period on an 11-4 spurt for a 47-37 lead. Dawson's bucket underneath with less than six minutes showing gave the Spartans their biggest lead at 49-37.
The Bulldogs' pressure took over from there, an 18-2 blast in just over four minutes, to claim a 55-51 advantage. Dredon Nunn had five of his 11 in the run, while Holscher's two free throws were South Knox's only tallies in that stretch.
"We just have to keep plugging away. We did a lot of good in this game. We made some shots, hit the gaps, made layups. We had them backed up, and they were scared," Farris said. "We just have to get over the hump and finish the game."
South Knox's junior varsity (5-3) fell, 53-40. Jackson Hoops scored 18 points and Clayton Peterson 10.
The Spartans host Class A No. 4 Bloomfield at 6 p.m. Saturday.
EVANSVILLE BOSSE 56, SOUTH KNOX 54
Wirth (f) 3 0-0 6, Maeder (f) 3 0-0 8, Dawson (c) 5 2-2 12, Holscher (g) 4 3-4 13, Robinson (g) 4 0-0 9, Candler 3 0-1 6, Thomas 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22 5-7 54.
Burton (f) 1 1-2 3, Ajibade (g) 4 0-1 9, Wagner (g) 1 0-0 2, Norris (g) 11 5-6 28, Nunn (g) 5 1-2 11, Howell 1 0-0 3, Hood 0 0-0 0, Collier 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 7-11 56.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
South Knox|14-14-19-7 — 54
Evansville Bosse |11-16-10-19 — 56
3-pointers: South Knox 5 (Holscher 2, Maeder 2, Robinson), Bosse 3 (Ajibade, Howell, Norris). Fouls: South Knox 12, Bosse 11. JV: Bosse 53-40.