Southridge grabs runner-up at own tournamentJanuary 5, 2020
BY JONATHAN SAXON
HUNTINGBURG — The Southridge boys basketball team wrapped up their tournament run with the Baird Winter Classic on Saturday with mixed results. In the morning game the Raiders (5-6) fought through a slow start to overcome the Class A-No. 10 Christian Academy Warriors, 53-42. Later in the championship game, the Raiders stood toe-to-toe with Class A-No. 1 Barr-Reeve, but just couldn't get a few more buckets to fall as they lost, 60-55.
Raiders coach Mark Rohrer said close losses normally frustrate him, but he didn't experience any such feelings after Saturday night. He called the Vikings the top team in the state and was proud of the way his team stayed competitive with them throughout the game.
"That's one of the best teams in southern Indiana," he said. "We gave them everything we had. As much as you want to win this game, it wasn't a step backwards. I'm encouraged by how much our guys keep improving. We're getting there."
Junior guard Colson Montgomery started the late game with a deep three, but the Vikings responded in quick order with scores from sophomore forward Hagen Knepp and senior center Keegan O’Niell. This would become the tone of the game from start to finish. For everything Southridge accomplished, the Vikings responded.
A final three from junior forward Sam Sermersheim as the clock expired on the first quarter pulled the Raiders within one point of the Vikings, but Barr-Reeve used the second to really put some distance between themselves and Southridge. O’Niell and junior guard Brycen Graber put together an 8-1 run that gave the Vikings a 25-17 advantage. Montgomery scored seven straight in the aftermath, but his efforts were tempered by consecutive threes from Knepp and junior guard Jamison Miller. Still, Montgomery and sophomore guard Carter Whitehead kept answering the bell, even as the Raiders faced a five-point deficit at the end of the half.
O’Niell started with eight points on the way to the Vikings outscoring the Raiders 15-12 in the third quarter, but only held an eight-point lead going into the fourth. Unphased by what laid ahead of them, the Raiders were determined to keep giving their best effort in hopes of toppling a giant in front of them. Four points from Sermershiem at the start of the fourth made it a two-possession game, and Whitehead hit a corner three to get the Raiders within three points of the Vikings with about six minutes left to play. However, the Raiders just couldn’t get the stops or match the Vikings’ shots in the end. Knepp, Brycen Graber and junior guard Devin Graber mustered a final 8-0 run following Whitehead’s three that sealed the win for Barr-Reeve.
Montgomery finished with a game-high 26 points, while Sermersheim chipped in 11. O'Niell led the Vikings with 23 points, Knepp had 15 and Graber had 10.
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