"We thought it was really important to come in here and get on top early," said North coach Tim McNamee. "We felt if we bothered them enough and made it difficult to get the ball into their big guys, we'd be in pretty good shape."
Travis Stoner had the hot hand early for North (8-3, 5-2). Stoner scored 12 of his team-high 17 points in the opening period, and Devin Carey added four points and three steals. It was their quickness that made getting the ball across the mid-court line a seemingly impossible task in the first quarter.
"Our guards, they had a great first half," McNamee said. "We depend on them and their quickness. That's the way we have to play."
The Rebels began to chip away at the lead, closing to within 11 points at halftime. South scored the first six points of the second half, making the score 35-30 with 4:35 left in the quarter. But a 3-pointer by Mike Lum started a 9-2 run to close the period and put the Hubs back in front by 12 at 44-32.
North maintained a double-digit cushion for much of the fourth quarter and led 51-39 with 3:30 remaining. But two straight baskets by Antoine Becks and a three-point play by Shane Carbaugh cut South's deficit to 51-46 with 39 seconds left.
With time running out, the Rebels were forced to foul and the Hubs came through in the clutch. North hit six straight from the line to ice the game.
"We had just far too many turnovers in the first quarter, but we stayed within striking distance," South coach Bob Starkey said. "We stopped their guard penetration in the second half, made them shoot from outside and that helped us."
Carey had 14 points and Richie Pantophlet added 10 for North.
Becks recorded a triple-double with 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocked shots for the Rebels. Shane Carbaugh had 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Eric Socks had 10 points off the bench for South.