Montgomery breaks record, Southridge breaks skid

Kaiti Sullivan/The Herald
Southridge's Colson Montgomery moves the ball down the court during Friday's boys basketball game in Huntingburg. Montgomery set a new school boys record of 41 points. Southridge defeated Shoals 88-59.

BY COREY STOLZENBACH
sports@dcherald.com

HUNTINGBURG — Colson Montgomery broke his own record Friday night.

The Southridge junior scored 41 points to set a new boys basketball school record, besting his 39-point performance from Jan. 22, 2018 when he was a freshman against Perry Central. He had 22 points at halftime. He made six 3-pointers and was 15-of-16 at the free throw line. His performance led the way to the Raiders (2-4) snapping a three-game losing streak, 88-59, at Huntingburg Memorial Gymnasium.

“I was trying to play aggressive, but I was trying to get to my teammates open, too, because all eyes are on me,” Montgomery said.
Raiders coach Mark Rohrer said the team challenged Montgomery, and that he challenged himself. Rohrer backed up with Montgomery said about playing aggressively and taking what the defense gave him.

“I thought it was his mindset all week in practice of just being ultra-focused, unbelievable leadership and then the points just kind of came,” Rohrer said.

Montgomery was trying to get his teammates involved, and that happened in Friday’s wire-to-wire win as well. Fellow junior Sam Sermersheim scored 20 points. Sophomore Carter Whitehead finished with 12. Senior Garrett Voegerl scored nine points and had as many assists in the victory.

Rohrer said Southridge needs more from other players, but not to feel like the other players have to force it, either. He lauded some early 3-pointers Whitehead made to help Southridge go on a 9-0 run in the first quarter and take a 13-3 lead. Rohrer talked about Whitehead being just a sophomore and having the responsibility of guarding the opposition’s best guard.

“From top to bottom, I just thought the team effort was just fantastic,” Rohrer said.

The Raiders drained seven 3-pointers in the opening half. Their lead expanded from 4-3 to 13-3 in the opening quarter, and they just kept going from there. Montgomery buried his second three of the quarter despite traffic on him just before the buzzer for a 19-5 lead after the first.

Shoals came out making a statement in the second half, first beginning things on an 8-2 run. The defense of the Jug Rox created pressure as the Raiders turned the ball over some. Shots fell for Shoals, too, as it scored more points in the third quarter than it did the entire first half combined. Senior Max Fischer made a three in the final seconds to close out a 28-point third quarter for the Jug Rox, but Southridge still led, 62-40, after three. The Jug Rox continued working on things in the fourth quarter, trimming Southridge’s lead to 18, but the Raiders used free throw shooting to build their lead back up again. They led by more than 30 with less than three minutes to play.

Southridge drained eight shots from downtown and went 22-for-25 at the charity stripe.

Rohrer said Southridge would condition more after a 48-43 loss against Evansville Mater Dei Dec. 7. He said the basketball shape the Raiders were in on Friday was “night and day” compared to weeks ago.

Kaiti Sullivan/The Herald
Southridge's Carter Whitehead attempts to make a basket during Friday's boys basketball game in Huntingburg. Southridge defeated Shoals 88-59.

“We may not have won that game two weeks ago,” he said. “We’ve really gotten after it in practice, and these guys have been very mature about and understanding. What we told them two weeks ago was we hoped tonight, we were going to see the results of the conditioning.”

Rohrer credited the Jug Rox for how well they competed after a big halftime deficit. He said last year was a similar situation with the Raiders in starting off slow and that it took one good game to get them rolling. Rohrer wasn’t saying Southridge was going to win 16 out of 17 again like it did last year, but thinks Friday’s game could be the one to get the Raiders going.

The Raiders will be back at it Monday at North Daviess as part of the Old National Bank Tournament that spans Dec. 23, 27 and 28.
They are set to face Blackford in the opening round. Southridge will play another tournament, the Baird Winter Classic, Jan. 4 on its home floor.

“Our goal is to play five games on our home court here come March,” Rohrer said. “This is a very good midseason test to see where we are physically, where are mentally, where we are skill-wise and so hopefully we come out and have as much success as possible, but still, at this point in the year, it’s all about learning and getting better every day and continuing that focus of having mature practice habits.”

For more photos, check out https://duboiscountyherald.com/b/gallery/basketball-southridge-vs-shoals?i=116561




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