Southridge to condition more following Saturday’s lossDecember 7, 2019
By COREY STOLZENBACH
HUNTINGBURG — Southridge coach Mark Rohrer thinks his team is doing a lot of things right at this point in the season, but shots aren’t going in, and Rohrer said the Raiders (1-3) need to improve their conditioning after Saturday’s 48-43 loss against Evansville Mater Dei.
“We are competing every possession,” Rohrer said. “We are defending so hard. We are really getting a better understanding — kind of on the fly — on what we’re trying to do offensively. Honestly, the next step is we got to get in shape.”
Rohrer said the Raiders have a lot of football players on their team, and that it’s hard to go 100 percent for long stretches because their bodies aren’t ready yet. He said Southridge will make shots once it works on conditioning, and the Raiders will get more time to recuperate. Saturday’s game against the Wildcats was their fourth in seven days, which Rohrer said was by design to see what they must improve on. Southridge is scheduled to only play twice through Dec. 20.
The Raiders got off to a better start than they did the night before in the first half on Saturday. They won the opening tip, and senior Garrett Voegerl took the basketball for a layup just four seconds in. Southridge and Mater Dei were tied, 11-11, after the first quarter and the Raiders held a 28-27 lead at the break. This contrasted from Friday’s 48-42 loss against Washington, when they were down, 17-5, after the first quarter, and 32-13 at halftime. Rohrer said getting off to a good start is always a point of emphasis, but the bigger point of emphasis came from Friday’s halftime conversation — that the players have to lead more. He said there’s a difference between saying Southridge will be more player-led and actually doing it, and he added the Raiders have done that really well in their last six quarters of basketball. Rohrer said it specifically starts with Voegerl and junior Colson Montgomery. He said they’ve been positive leaders, even when things weren’t going Southridge’s way.
It was the second straight loss for the Raiders in a game that just slipped from their hands in the fourth quarter. Montgomery had a game-high 27 points, but only scored seven points in the second half. Voegerl scored four. One thing that prevented Southridge from getting closer or taking the lead was free throws. Voegerl stepped to the free throw line with 3:56 and later 3:13 remaining in the game. Montgomery went to the charity stripe with 2:43 to play. Each time, though, only one-of-two free throws were made.
The Raiders had a chance to potentially win the game when down, 45-41, late in the game. Rohrer wanted his players to trap the Wildcats instead of foul them. Junior Camden Gasser stole a ball and made a layup right at the Southridge rim to trim it to a 45-43 deficit. Senior Austin Kaeck got a hand on a Mater Dei ball that he almost intercepted, but it got away from him. Junior Landen Folz then took the ball for a bucket, receiving an and-one following a Southridge foul. He made his free throw to bring the game to the final score.
Rohrer said there's a lot of stuff to cover early in the season, but added the game is about putting the ball in the hoop.
"As we are building on our complete game, we can put more of an emphasis on that now. That’s going to be something that’s huge for us, and having an understanding that we’ve really got to work it.
“We’ve got a good shooting team,” he later added. “It’s just a matter of where we are exerting so much of energy in every other aspect of the game where we get the good looks, we’re almost just like gassed. We’re so tired at that point.”
Rohrer vowed Southridge will get to the point where it has shots going in. He said the Raiders were only going to watch film on Monday to give them a chance to physically recover. Rohrer said the Raiders will spend Tuesday and Wednesday doing every transition drill that he has in his book. He said he’s not going to have them just constantly run from the baseline, but added it’s a mutual understanding between his players and himself that the team must be better conditioned.
The Raiders are next scheduled to play Dec. 14 against Collins (Ky.) in Georgetown, Ky. Southridge will be taking part in the Indiana-Kentucky Challenge Cup. Montgomery thinks the layoff will be beneficial mentally and physically for the game. He said the Raiders are really close to figuring things out. Montgomery said there will be pride in representing Indiana.
“It’s going to be fun, too, playing against somebody from a different state,” Montgomery said.
Rohrer said it was an honor to be selected for the event. He touted two seniors the Titans have in Marcellus Vail, and Dayvion McKnight, whom Rohrer said could be named Kentucky’s Mr. Basketball. Rohrer said the Raiders have a tougher schedule this year, as the goal was to have a tougher schedule than anybody in Class 2A.
“It’s going to give us an opportunity to grow and get better,” Rohrer said. “We’re going to get better at games like more than we get better at beating somebody by 25 or 30.”
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