Raiders outlast Jeeps, 56-46January 9, 2021
By JIMMY LAFAKIS
HUNTINGBURG — Saturday evening presented an intriguing scenario for the Southridge (4-4) boys basketball team. The Raiders entered the game with two objectives — earn a win over county opponent Northeast Dubois (2-7) and prepare for the intense week ahead.
Southridge held on for a dramatic 56-46 victory over the Jeeps. As the Memorial Gym spectators trickled out of the building, Raiders head coach Mark Rohrer seized the chance to catch his breath.
“We knew this was going to be a really tough stretch,” Rohrer said. “After we played three games about an hour drive away at North Daviess in a week, we now turn around and play five games in nine days. It’s a big-time challenge.”
Winning starts at the defensive end for Rohrer and the Raiders. Southridge’s defense held firm against a multifaceted Northeast Dubois attack. Jeeps junior Colby Pieper led Northeast Dubois with 13 points, but the Raiders stayed in control and staved off a late rally.
“I think we have really good team chemistry on defense,” Rohrer said. “We know when to help. We know when to dig down. We know when to get in the passing lanes. Those are things that we drill consistently in practice.”
The Raiders’ defensive mettle will be tested this week. They will play games on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday — one of the many differences of this unprecedented season.
That stretch will force Southridge to become a bit more creative in the transition game.
“We almost always score when we get steals,” Rohrer said. “We’d like to score a little more in transition from rebounding. We’ve had so many guys in and out with COVID and injuries, you work things back in kind of on the fly in games.”
Northeast Dubois found balance within their offense. Senior Nick Lueken contributed nine points, while sophomore Ty Kalb added eight points. Junior Carter Whitehead (16 points) and seniors Colson Montgomery (14 points), Sam Sermersheim (12 points) and Camden Gasser (11 points) finished in double figures for Southridge.
Jeeps head coach Terry Friedman tipped his cap to Montgomery and the Raiders.
“We had a game plan on execution and what we wanted to be able to do tonight,” Friedman said. “Colson Montgomery is an exceptional talent, an exceptional person and an outstanding player. We had to be able to figure out something to be able to throw him a little bit off-balance tonight. We were able to do that for the most part, but it wasn’t quite enough."
Although the Jeeps fell short, Friedman identified reasons for optimism.
“I’m hoping that we can take the second half that we played tonight and use it as a turning point to our season,” he said. “We can build on that in practice next week. We’ve just got to continue to do the things that we do. I was very proud of our effort tonight.”
The hard-fought county win glimmered as a beacon of hope for the Raiders.
“With the way we defend people, we should be a really tough team to beat if we get three-to-four guys in double figures,” Rohrer said. “That’s what we did these last two nights.”
Southridge’s next county game will tip at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday in Jasper. Northeast Dubois will host Paoli at 7:30 p.m. on Friday.
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