Rohrer reflects on first season with Raiders

Herald File Photo
Colson Montgomery (left) and Camden Gasser both had impressive sophomore campaigns for the Southridge boys basketball team this past season. Montgomery is just 12 points away from reaching the 1,000-point scoring mark for his young career while Gasser was the team's sixth man for the majority of the year.

By HENDRIX MAGLEY
hmagley@dcherald.com

With the 2018-19 boys basketball season officially over, it’s time to take a look back at what the five area boys basketball teams accomplished this past season and what’s next for them.

This is the fifth and final part of a five-part discussion series with the five area boys basketball coaches and their respective programs.

The final chat is with Southridge head coach Mark Rohrer. In Rohrer’s first season with the Raiders, Southridge had one of the largest record turnarounds in the state of Indiana as they finished the 2018-19 campaign with an 18-5 record. Here’s a brief discussion with Rohrer about Colson Montgomery’s next step, who will step into the roles vacated by Southridge’s seniors next season and his thoughts about his first season with the Raiders.

  • On sophomore guard/forward Colson Montgomery (21.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg, IBCA large school underclass All-State selection) second season and what to expect from him moving forward.

“I think what’s most impressive is that he can score in so many different ways efficiently. His post-up game is great, his catch-and-shoot game is really good and he shot 38 percent from three-point last season. He can get to the rim in transition, he shot 62 percent from the field which is the fourth best percentage in school history and he’s the No. 1 priority on every defense’s scouting report.

He got better as the season went on — I think he’s going to take another big step going into his junior year, I think his defense improved. His assists were a little bit lower than his freshman year but they increased as the season went on. He’s the total package — he has a great feel for the game, he’s very coachable, he just does so many things at a high level.”

  • On the graduating senior class (Jaden Hayes, Joe LaGrange, Matt Price) and what lessons they passed down to the younger guys that will be entering the program in the future.

“I really thought it started with the total buy-in they had — it’s kind of a tough situation for especially seniors, when there’s a big change. You’re going into your senior season and there’s a new coach and those guys just had a buy-in in terms of the philosophy and what we expected. I think that rubbed off on the underclassmen, whether that’s at the varsity level or even JV and freshman level and younger, I think that was absolutely huge for us.

I also thought in terms of the work ethic and how we go about our preparation, they were really locked in honestly throughout the entire season. I think these seniors, even though they played their last game, they’re going to have a lasting impact on this program for many, many years to come.”

  • On players such as Camden Gasser, Kaden Neukam, Carter Whitehead and Sam Sermersheim who all saw increased varsity action this season and how that experience will pay dividends next year.

“Everybody’s going to look at the two starters coming back, Colson (Montgomery) and Garrett (Voegerl), and deservedly so. They’re going to get a lot the attention but we feel we’re going to have a really good group of guys who are going to do their job to help us win basketball games. Camden getting the minutes he did and Carter, he played against Sullivan in the fourth quarter of the sectional, these guys getting their feet wet — for them being in big spots in big moments, that’s going to help for next year. We look at those four guys as guys who are going to be part of our core going into next year — Camden, Kaden, Carter and Sam — and I thought they did a really nice job this year of developing and helping us win varsity basketball games. This offseason will be really important for them to help them individually improve their games.”

  • On his first season as head coach of the Southridge Raiders and what he enjoyed most about it.

“First, and this was established before I got here, but the competitiveness of these kids and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that they play other sports and that we have such great coaches — not just at the varsity level but also in the feeder systems. There’s that already ingrained mental edge that they have and prepare with, that was a rare thing for many first-year coaches to have.

Secondly, just the willingness these guys had to want to learn and want to be coached. I was so impressed with the whole community’s culture and the mindset that everyone has to give the coach the opportunity to come in with a new system and go about things the way I went about them and the willingness the kids had to be coached to get better. We really feel that in this first year we gained so much positive momentum, I think that final game was a tough pill to swallow for everyone but I really think the senior group left a legacy and these younger guys are going to be motivated by how the end of this season finished.”




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