BLOOMFIELD — With four averaging in double figures, South Knox's girls basketball team has multiple options to score.
It was Lexi Detweiler's turn in the Class 2A Eastern Greene Sectional opener Tuesday. The junior poured in a career-high 28 points and the sixth-ranked Spartans eliminated Paoli, 65-49.
Hannah Ivers tacked on 19 points for South Knox (21-4), which took the lead for good late in the first quarter and enjoyed a double-figure edge all of the fourth quarter.
Spartans coach Hollie Eaves said the defending sectional champions were tight going into the postseason opener, having thoughts about their 59-36 loss at Class A No. 2 Loogootee in the regular season finale.
"We were feeling a lot of pressure going into this game. They just didn't want to perform badly," Eaves said. "Lexi getting 28 points, that was awesome. I told Hannah before the game she had to be ready to shoot. She loves shooting in this gym.
"Paoli reminded me a lot of us, getting after loose balls and trying to come up with everything," Eaves said. "They're a dangerous team and a good team. I'm proud of my girls, and I'm glad to get this game over with. The girls looked kind of relieved too. We'll look smoother Friday."
The Spartans held off a pair of Rams' charges in the second half.
Freshman Jackie Crews hit two free throws to cut the gap to 38-31 midway in the third quarter. But Detweiler had four in an 8-3 stretch to end the stanza, giving South Knox a 46-34 lead. At that point, Detweiler had more than half of the team's points with 24.
It was 50-40 with still more than five minutes to go when Macie Couchenour converted a three-point play and Detweiler canned another bucket to push the lead to 15.
South Knox took control of the game in the second quarter, holding Paoli scoreless over the final 4:02 to build a 28-19 advantage. The Spartans ended the stanza on a 10-2 push, with Mykayla Couchenour and Ivers netting consecutive 3-pointers, before Detweiler collected back-to-back baskets.
The Rams were within one with five minutes before intermission, but turnovers started to mount up. Paoli had 14 first-half miscues.
The first quarter had five lead changes, with South Knox taking a 12-11 lead on Mykayla Couchenour's driving basket with :40 on the clock.
It was the second meeting of the season between the two schools, and not nearly as close as the South Knox 44-42 win over the Rams in the Toby Yoho Classic in December. In that game, Crews hit five 3-pointers and scored 25 points. She led the Rams on Tuesday with 14 points.
"One of our keys was to lock down (Crews), to make sure she didn't have another good game," Eaves said.
The Spartans play Mitchell (10-12), which received a bye, in Friday's first semifinal game at 6 p.m.
SOUTH KNOX 65, PAOLI 49
Blankenbaker (f) 1 0-0 3, Manship (f) 2 0-2 6, Cunningham (g) 2 0-1 4, Crews (g) 4 6-7 14, Keaby (g) 3 0-0 7, Umpleby 1 0-0 2, Ki. McBride 1 2-2 4, Walls 0 0-0 0, Ka. McBride 3 1-2 7, Anderson 1 0-0 2. Totals: 19 9-14 49.
Ivers (f) 6 3-4 19, Osborne (f) 0 1-2 1, My. Couchenour (g) 2 2-5 7, Ma. Couchenour (g) 2 2-4 6, Detweiler (g) 13 2-4 28, Derouin 0 0-0 0, Holscher 2 0-0 4, Rusch 0 0-0 0, Beard 0 0-0 0, Kirk 0 0-0 0. Totals: 25 10-19 65.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Paoli |11-8-15-15 — 49
South Knox |12-16-18-19 — 65
3-pointers: Paoli 2 (Keaby, Blankenbaker), South Knox 5 (Ivers 4, My. Couchenour). Fouls: Paoli 14, South Knox 12.