Raiders clinch winning recordFebruary 25, 2021
By COREY STOLZENBACH
HUNTINGBURG - Southridge enjoyed itself a notable, memorable night to end the regular season on Thursday.
The Raiders (12-10, 8-3) ended their final game before the sectional tournament on a high note, which in and of itself would be something to feel good about. However, with this 42-24 win against Boonville, Southridge officially clinched a winning record for the 2020-21 campaign, doing a 180 from the 9-15 record it was saddled with just a season ago.
"We kind of expected that coming into the season with the guys we have, everybody's pretty much back, too," senior Colson Montgomery said. "So, I mean, we kind of expected this. It's a good feeling going into the tournament having a winning record and everything, especially going out on a good note with the last regular season game, but it was kind of expected."
"The wins and losses aren't a whole lot really important to me until we get to the tournament," Southridge coach Mark Rohrer said. "Obviously, we try to win every game we play. We've had some really nice ones, we've had some. Everything that we've done in the regular season is just building towards the week we have ahead of us, starting on Tuesday."
That's not all that happened in this Pocket Athletic Conference win. Montgomery scored the 1,800th point of his career just before the end of the opening quarter. He entered the night with 1,793 career points and needed seven to reach the feat.
He had five points to his credit with time winding down in the opening quarter when senior teammate Camden Gasser got off an inbounds pass against the Pioneers. Montgomery took it and got off a jumper just before time expired, giving his team a 12-6 lead after one and 1,800 on the nose for his career. Montgomery finished tied with a game-high 11 points with Pioneers senior Devin Mockobee.
The game proved to be low-scoring, however, for much of the way through. Southridge got off to a quick 7-0 run, but the Pioneers held the Raiders in check for a bit after the first quarter to make it a more competitive affair into the second half. It was a 23-16 lead for Southridge before the Raiders created more separation in the third quarter, starting with a three from senior Camden Gasser that pushed it to a 33-16 edge for Southridge.
"I thought just the entire game - our defensive focus, our defensive intensity, our defensive, just execution, was at a very, very high level," Rohrer said. "There were very few plays that I thought they got any kind of clean and good looks. We knew it was just going to be a matter of time for us to make a couple perimeter shots to where we were able to spread that margin a little more than what it was."
Boonville got its points sparingly after Southridge's third quarter run, and the Raiders went to their reserves with minutes left to play in the game.
Southridge will have to win three games to claim the Sectional 48 championship, and it all starts on Tuesday against Evansville Mater Dei.
"I think they have the ability to make a deep run into the tournament as long we have a positive mindset, and as long as we continue to go out and execute on the defensive end like we did," Rohrer said. "And then offensively, have some mental toughness to just knock down some shots."
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