Raiders outlast North Posey, 43-33March 5, 2021
By JIMMY LAFAKIS
HUNTINGBURG — Sometimes, defense does not have a chance to shine in the limelight. High-flying dunks and spectacular 3-pointers usually take center stage.
Southridge (14-10) and North Posey flipped the typical script during Friday evening’s 2A Sectional 48 contest. Each possession was a war of attrition in the Raiders’ 43-33 victory — each bucket was hard-earned.
“I had guessed that they would play their normal tempo,” Raiders head coach Mark Rohrer said. “I think their normal tempo is moderate. They don’t play really fast, but they don’t play slow like that. In elimination games, teams and coaches will try different things to just hang around as long as they possibly can. I thought they had a really nice game plan to really limit possessions and make us come out and chase.”
With 1:28 remaining in the first quarter, Southridge senior Colson Montgomery gave the Raiders a 7-6 lead on a wing triple. Both teams played solid defense throughout the second quarter, but Raiders junior Carter Whitehead broke the scoreless frame with a late corner trey.
The Vikings continued to pass the ball around the perimeter, as Southridge’s defense prevented any sort of meaningful north-south movement. The Raiders entered the intermission with a 12-10 lead, and Montgomery led Southridge with five first-half points.
“We’ve got to trust the game plan and trust what we’ve been doing all season long,” Rohrer said. “In these one-and-done games, you’ve also got to be able to make these in-game adjustment types of things. We said it to the guys — we didn’t think there was a whole lot we needed to change.”
Whitehead didn’t wait long to make an impact in the second half. A deep 3-pointer gave Southridge additional breathing room and sent the home fans into a frenzy.
Later in the period, Montgomery went coast-to-coast with a strong rebound and deft finish. That layup widened the gap to 20-10, but no field goal loomed larger than Montgomery’s final basket of the period.
Southridge senior Camden Gasser lofted an inbounds pass to Montgomery in the final moments of the frame. Montgomery retrieved the pass with one hand, gathered himself and flicked the ball through the hoop as the buzzer sounded.
According to Rohrer, the Raiders ran through several options out of that scenario during Thursday evening’s practice.
“That was a big play,” he said. “That’s the players making the plays, but I’m glad we walked through it last night.”
North Posey cut the deficit to 22-18 with 7:05 to play in the fourth quarter, but Southridge never wavered. The Raiders remained composed and pushed the ball in transition at opportune times.
Gasser was the floor general, a whirling dervish who found his teammates for prime opportunities to score. Late free throws from Montgomery and Whitehead put the game on ice.
Montgomery led all scorers with 21 points. Whitehead also finished in double figures, adding 14 points for the Raiders. North Posey freshman Jackson Graff scored a team-high 17 points for the Vikings.
“We’re where we want to be right now,” Rohrer said. “We’ve got to clean a couple things up in the morning with a quick film and a quick walkthrough. We’ll see what happens tomorrow night.”
Southridge will face South Spencer in the 7:30 p.m. sectional championship game on Saturday. The Rebels earned a 79-46 victory over Tecumseh.
“We’re not playing to just get to the finals,” Rohrer said. “We’re playing to win the whole thing.”
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