Southridge ends year on five-game skidJanuary 30, 2020
By JONATHAN SAXON
HUNTINGBURG — It’s been a rough season for the Southridge girls basketball team. They’ve dealt with injury and continuity issues all winter long that have kept them from playing at the level they want. Yet the Raiders (8-14, 3-5) have finally cleared the finish line of the regular season. It wasn't as they would have hoped, as they fell to the Tecumseh Braves 55-22 on Senior Night on Thursday.
“I put it on myself if I don’t have them focused,” Raiders coach Greg Werner said. “We couldn’t get any good basketball tonight. It’s my job to prepare them. I didn’t have them prepared."
Senior guard Layne Pemberton had her name written all over the first quarter. She opened the game with a 3-pointer and landed another before the end of the period, with a layup sandwiched in the middle for all eight of the Braves’ (16-5, 6-2) first-quarter points. The Raiders returned fire with buckets from junior center Abigail Kerkhoff and freshman guard Marie Tempel, but they found themselves down by three going into the second stanza.
The second quarter became the Kaybree Oxley Show. The sophomore forward started with a putback and followed up with a post bucket that put the Braves up 12-5. Kerkhoff got loose inside once again for another Raider basket, but Oxley sparked an 11-0 run after converting an and-one play following a missed free throw from freshman guard Karsyn Flowers. Freshman center Lilly McMickle split her shots from the charity stripe, and an and-one play from junior guard Kennedy Nalley put a pause on the Braves. The moratorium was brief as Oxley, along with senior forward Chloe Holder and junior guard Gracee Sullivan, finished the half with another nine points to give Tecumseh a 35-13 halftime lead.
Holder, Oxley and senior guard Ella Green ran up an 8-0 streak at the start of the third period. Tempel drilled a 3-pointer that marked all the scoring the Raiders could muster in the third. Tempel scored once more in the fourth frame, which combined with scores from Nalley and senior guard Anna Kappner to double their third-quarter output. It wasn’t nearly enough as the Braves closed the game with shots from Oxley, Pemberton, Sullivan and Holder.
Tempel led the Raiders with eight points. Oxley finished with 24 points, and Pemberton had an additional 10.
“We came out ready to play and honor the seniors,” Tempel said. “We didn’t hold that energy throughout the game. We kept the fight up.”
The loss marked a five-game skid that capped the end of the Raiders’ regular season. While they certainly would have liked to end their season on a high note, the Raiders now must shift focus to their first-round sectional matchup against North Posey on Tuesday.
“Our job is to make sure that we get them prepared,” Werner said. “And on top of that, make sure we have the game plans so they know what to execute, make sure they see what’s going on and what’s open.”
“We have a lot of work to do,” Tempel added. “We’ll push through it and play our hardest.”
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