Raiders advance to regional championship


Photo by Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Southridge senior Colson Montgomery gets ready to drain a three in the second quarter of the Regional 12 opener Saturday morning against Paoli. Montgomery scored a game-high 27 points, including the team's first 19, in the 43-35 win against Paoli. 

HUNTINGBURG - The story of the 2020-21 Southridge boys will continue for at least one more game.

The Raiders (16-10) cemented their trip to the Regional 12 championship game with a 43-35 win against Paoli Saturday morning at Huntingburg Memorial Gym. The Rams held the Raiders close for much of the game, but Southridge led for most of the way. Paoli came into this game averaging 48 points per game, but the Raiders gave a defensive effort that held the Rams at bay.

"That's what we gameplan for all year is holding really good basketball teams as much as under their average as we can," Southridge coach Mark Rohrer said. "(Paoli senior) Brett Bosley, he's not a good player, he's a special, special player, and I thought we tried to give him as many different looks as we could this morning, and just made the right read it seemed like every time. And we were very fortunate to keep them to 35."
Star senior Colson Montgomery credited the team's defensive effort to the team being locked in from the start.

"It's pretty hard to at 10 a.m.," Montgomery said. "Getting up, and a lot of guys are still waking (up) and everything, but our coaches got us here early to get us moving, get the blood flowing. It was just a good team defensive effort, and you got to give credit to (senior Kaleb Wibbeler), he played his heart out on Bosley, and he did whatever he could to help the team. We knew that if he did that then had a good chance of winning the game."

Montgomery finished with a game-high 27 points, and scored each of Southridge's first 19 points of the game. He was the lone scorer the entire first half for the Raiders, who didn't get another scorer until senior Camden Gasser dished a pass to fellow senior Sam Sermersheim for a layup.
Junior Carter Whitehead also got involved - his three gave Southridge a 27-17 lead for its first double digit advantage of the morning. Sermersheim and Whitehead finished with seven points each, and Gasser had a couple of points off a pair of free throws.

"Paoli is a top-notch defensive team, in my opinion," Rohrer said. "Their length, they're physical, they rebound it really well. We didn't get much easy there from start to finish, but we found ways to get other guys involved a lot better in the third quarter."

The Rams rallied to bring the final score to single digits, and Paoli junior Carson Little drained a three at the buzzer to give the game its final score - as the Raiders won their fifth game in a row.

Southridge's boys have not won a regional championship since 1986 - when the team made it to state for the second year in a row. The last regional championship preceded Rohrer's birth, and he joked with some of his assistants about them remembering that.

The Raiders will get a look at a quality opponent, be it Southwestern or Linton-Stockton, and Rohrer detailed out his plan for his team. He allowed his players to go home for an hour before watching the second regional game, and going through the scouting report and watching film on the team's second opponent. The team would then be allowed to go home for a few hours.

"I've played Linton's coach (Joey Hart) in the tournament before," Rohrer said. "We had a five overtime and a three overtime game. So, however many minutes it takes tonight, we need to make sure we get as much left in the tank as possible to where we can go out and play at a high level."

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