Raiders can't win fifth straight

Photo by Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Southridge senior Abby Kerkhoff embraces her father, Jay, on senior night Thursday at Huntingburg Memorial Gym, as mother Jennifer (right) looks on. Kerkhoff scored four points in Southridge’s 62- 47 loss to Gibson Southern.

By COREY STOLZENBACH
sports@dcherald.com

HUNTINGBURG — Things started off promising for Southridge Thursday night against Pocket Athletic Conference rival Gibson Southern before things took a turn in a negative direction.

The Raiders (8-8, 6-5) dropped a 62-47 loss to the Titans, bringing them back to .500. They went on a 9-0 run for an 11-2 lead against the Titans in the first quarter. Southridge hustled, got steals and offensive rebounds to help create early breathing room against Gibson Southern. Senior Abby Kerkhoff made the basket of the game on senior night, and she was one of three seniors the Raiders honored, along with Kennedy Nalley and Rose Tempel.

“What it means the most is I wish I could’ve had them for four years because they’re super kids,” Raiders coach Greg Werner said. “The growth that they’ve had over these two years had just been tremendous.”

Yet, even though it was senior night, junior Myah Montgomery took over after Kerkhoff’s opening by accounting for all nine of Southridge’s points in the 9-0 run — getting good looks to fall from 3-point range and converting on an and-one. In fact, Kerkhoff’s opening bucket came following Montgomery’s assist, and the junior had 14 at halftime. She averaged 20 points per game during the past four games going into this, and she came away with a game-high 25 points.

However, when shots weren’t falling for the Raiders, the Titans got back in it. It was 11-11 by the end of the quarter, and though Montgomery gave the Raiders the lead again, 13-11, in the second quarter, it did not last.

Gibson Southern used perimeter shooting and sharing the basketball in the second quarter to distinguish itself from Southridge. The Titans had five different scorers in the quarter, with three getting multiple buckets and three knocking down a shot from downtown.

Freshman Chloey Graham had the exclamation for the Titans when she buried a three at the buzzer; and although Montgomery got the opening bucket of the second half, the Titans would further run away from things in the third the third quarter, extending their lead on the Raiders to nearly 20.

Southridge tried making it a comeback, narrowing its deficit to 11 at 56-45 with 2:22 left and Werner taking a timeout.

“We just asked them (to) just, ‘Keep working, keep battling,’ and then they kind of went on a run and pressed it,” he said.

The Titans went on a 6-2 run to end the game, which snapped a four-game win streak for the Raiders, denying what would’ve been their first five-game win streak since the 2015-16 campaign, which was also their most recent winning season. Southridge will now have to go on a run towards the end of the regular season and into the playoffs, or in the postseason, to now make it happen this year.

The Raiders will hope to begin a new winning streak on Tuesday at Vincennes Lincoln in their penultimate game of the regular season.

“Obviously, we’re going to have to shoot at a high percentage,” Werner said. “We’re going to have to be able to match their athleticism that we’re going against on Tuesday, and I’ll have to come up with a report and a plan so that we come out and execute.”




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