Patriot trio goes off for 70 points in runawayJanuary 24, 2020
By LYNN ADAMS
LINCOLN CITY — It seemed like Southridge had No. 3-ranked Heritage Hills on the ropes for an eternity Friday night.
“There were actually some possessions early in the game that we controlled some pace,” Southridge coach Mark Rohrer reflected. “It seemed like it was 4-3 forever.”
Patriot coach Nate Hawkins concurred: “We kinda started a little bit slow. It’s was like 4-3 after the first four minutes — we were turning them over, but we just couldn’t really get any flow on offense to start the game.”
It was actually 4-3 for the first 6:19 of the game after Blake Sisley hit two point-blank buckets for Heritage Hills and Colson Montgomery drilled a three-pointer for Southridge.
But then the wheels came off for the Raiders.
Heritage Hills scored 10 of the final 12 points of the first quarter to take a 14-5 lead, then outscored the Raiders 26-8 in the second stanza, and the Patriots were off to the races enroute to an 83-38 blowout.
Sisley, who was playing with a 102-degree fever, scored 21 points on the night — almost all from short range — and was joined in the elite 20-point club by Heritage Hills all-time leading scorer Murray Becher also with 21 points, and Simon Scherry with 28 points, 18 of those coming in that explosive — and deciding — second period.
“Once we did get in a flow and got in a groove — I think a big part of that was Simon Scherry,” Hawkins decided. “When Simon started hitting shots — and he kinda took the game into his hands and started going to the rim — he was great tonight. He had six threes. Then Murray ends up with 21 and five threes. Blake kinda dominated inside, and he played with a 102 fever here tonight and gets 21 points.”
To be sure, after Heritage Hills went on runs of 10-0 and 13-2 in the second quarter, the outcome was never in doubt, just what the final margin of victory would be. The Patriots followed up their first-half surges with sprees of 13-2 and 8-2 in the third period for a 37-point bulge headed into the fourth frame before the final 45-point gap.
“I’ve not been on the bad side of many of these games, so it’s a little different feeling for me,” Rohrer admitted. “It’s a little different feeling for those players in there, but we take every game — big win, big loss, somewhere in between — as a learning experience, and we’re going to try to do the same thing with tonight.”
What the Raiders learned Friday night was that Heritage Hills as a team, and the trio of Scherry, Sisley and Becher are formidable.
“There’s not a better trio than those three (Scherry, Sisley and Becher), and their role players are so good, too,” Rohrer said in praise of the victors. “It’s not just a three-man. I mean, they’ve got a lot of different pieces that when they go out and execute like that, they’re obviously very spectacular.”
While the Patriots appreciate the respect they’ve earned, Hawkins knows the season is far from over.
“We’re just getting better, and that’s what it’s coming down to. Our schedule in December was just demanding, but it’s a learning lesson, that’s why we wanted to play those games in December. I feel like that’s really helped us. It’s made us a little bit tougher. But we’re not satisfied. These guys have got big goals, and they’re hoping that they’re able to achieve them here this year. And I believe they can do it if they just keep putting the time in and keep working,” he said.
What the Heritage Hills trio accomplished was a bitter pill for Southridge, and was a performance not lost on Rohrer.
“I’m at about 190-some games that I’ve coached. There have only been 34 times that a team’s had a 20-point scorer against me,” he said. “There’s been one time that a team’s had two 20-point scorers — that was last year against these guys — Blake and Murray both had 20. Tonight they had three. In 190-some games that I’ve coached, there’s only been two times that there’s been multiple 20-point scorers — they’ve had a two-player time and a three, they’re just so talented. When they’re making threes and when they’re pounding it inside like they did, they’re pretty unstoppable.”
After the game’s low-scoring start, the Patriots — utilizing a smothering full-court press throughout the first half that produced 10 first-quarter Southridge turnovers and 16 for the half — parlayed back-to-back-to-back turnovers into quick, easy buckets for the nine-point cushion at the end of the period.
Then Scherry took over the game in the second stanza. The talented senior started the quarter with a three-pointer and capped the half with a three-pointer and free throw combination. In between, Scherry had five additional field goals — two of them from downtown — as Heritage Hills (11-3) continued to capitalize on Raider miscues en route to a 40-13 rout at halftime.
Southridge (7-9) showed some life to start the third period, going on an 8-4 run — with Montgomery cashing in for six of his team-high 18 points in that stretch — to get back to within 44-21.
“I was really proud of our guys’ resiliency and fight in the second half, we just need to have that obviously a lot earlier,” Rohrer said. “I’m not giving up on this group. Our record’s not where we wish it was, but there’s still a lot of basketball to be played, and I still think that we’re going to be a team to be reckoned with come March, regardless of how some of these outcomes have turned out recently, and especially if we get some of our guys healthy.”
But the Patriots outdistanced the Raiders 21-7 the rest of the quarter for a 65-28 count heading into the final frame, and Hawkins flooded the floor with substitutes for much of the fourth quarter.
“I thought our JV guys and our younger guys who came in to finish the game were great tonight,” Hawkins noted, “so we’re building some depth along the way, which is what you need to do if you’re gonna win championships.”
Heritage Hills is off until Friday when the Patriots host Evansville Mater Dei. Meanwhile, Southridge travels to North Posey for an 8 p.m. game today.
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