Southridge fades after competitive first half

Marie Tempel

By COREY STOLZENBACH
sports@dcherald.com

HUNTINGBURG — Southridge dropping its fourth game in a row Tuesday night did not stop coach Greg Werner from being proud of his team.

The Raiders (8-13) took a 47-29 home loss against the 17-4 Vincennes Lincoln Alices, but hung with them for much of the first half. They ended the first quarter on a 10-2 run and held a 13-12 lead heading into the second stanza. All of Southridge's points Tuesday came either from freshman Marie Tempel (13), junior Kennedy Nalley (8) or sophomore Mikah Goeppner (8).

The Raiders trailed, 21-18, at halftime, before Vincennes Lincoln pulled away in the second half. Southridge has been competitive against teams with these kind of records. It lost, 45-32, on Jan. 23 against a 17-3 Gibson Southern team as well, all while being injury-riddled.

“This is a group that fights,” Werner said.

Werner saw the first half and the progress the Raiders were making. He noticed his team did not give up. Werner thought Vincennes Lincoln out-hustled Southridge in the third quarter, having finished the quarter on a 9-2 run, but he challenged his players and thought they picked it up again in the fourth quarter. He noted that the Raiders could have thrown in the towel, but refused, adding they will get better for the end of this season, for the sectional tournament and for next year as well.

Kennedy Nalley

Trying to stop senior Darrian Carmean proved a tall task. Carmean outscored the entire Southridge team combined, finishing with a game-high 30 points. She connected on six 3-pointers, but also drove to the lane, finding a hole past the Southridge defense to get layups. Not playing help-defense, turning the ball over and falling short of the rim on some shots all proved to be challenging for the Raiders on Tuesday.

“That stuff was worked on yesterday as far as [Carmean] driving to the lane,” Werner said. “She shouldn’t have been driving to the lane like that. There should’ve been hedge defense that was there. You force the kickouts.”

Werner told his players he wants to play good teams to prepare them for the tournament. They’ll have one regular-season game left Thursday at home against Pocket Athletic Conference rival Tecumseh, which improved to 15-5 Tuesday after reeling off a 66-34 win against another PAC team in Pike Central. The Braves held the No. 8 ranking in Class 1A on Tuesday, and Werner said zone traps and containing sophomore Kaybree Oxley will be Southridge’s main focuses.

Thursday will also be Senior Night at Huntingburg Memorial Gymnasium. The Raiders have only had one senior play this year in Anna Kappner, but Grace Sickbert stuck around to help the team out after an injury ended her season before it began.

“I just want her to stay a good person and become even a better person because of what she’s gone through,” Werner said of Sickbert.

He’s also proud of Kappner for not having many minutes during the course of the year, yet improving all throughout her senior season. Werner lauded Kappner for accepting the role she was given, and it paid off for her as she began to see more minutes.

Mikah Goeppner

“We want her to be a little more involved, and she will, I think, get a little more involved coming up on the offensive end,” he said.

Werner does not believe the Raiders are ready for the sectional tournament, even though the tournament for them begins at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday against PAC rival North Posey at Forest Park. He thinks they will, however, be ready by the time the regular season ends.

“I feel like kids rise to the occasion at that time,” Werner said.




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