Montgomery, Voegerl have recent achievementsDecember 2, 2019
By JONATHAN SAXON
HUNTINGBURG — The Southridge boys basketball team fell a little short in their first game against Castle, but last week was still filled with some spectacular individual accomplishments for the Raiders to celebrate.
Not only did junior guard Colson Montgomery hit the 1,000 point mark on Saturday at the University of Southern Indiana, but senior forward Garrett Voegerl also used his superior leaping ability to win the United Bank River City Showcase dunk contest on Wednesday.
“It was great,” said Montgomery, who needed 12 points for the milestone and finished with 16 in the Raiders’ 54-44 loss to the Knights. “Thinking about it after the game, it was a fun time. It was a good experience too doing it in USI’s arena.”
Montgomery is one of the most prolific scorers in the state with an exceptional ability to put the ball through the hoop in a multitude of ways. As a freshman, he broke the school record for most points in a single game after scoring 39 against Perry Central, and by the time he walks off the court, he hopes to own Southridge’s all-time scoring record. He credits his teammates the most with putting him in situations where he can exercise his talents to great effect.
“All my teammates set me up real well,” he said. “They give me screens. They’re hitting me with backdoor passes. Half the time I can’t even score unless my team sets me up for it.”
Raiders coach Mark Rohrer called Montgomery the most gifted transition scorer he’s ever seen at the high school level, which he combines with his stellar half court game to make himself a nightmare to plan against defensively. Beyond that, Rohrer is most impressed by the work ethic that Montgomery uses to get the most out of his talents.
“He has so much natural, God-given ability, but he’s gotten to this point off of hard work,” he said. “He goes home and shoots after practice. He’s put in countless hours from the time he was really young to where he is now. This is not by accident, just hard work.”
Earlier in the week, another Raider had his own peak moment of achievement as Voegerl beat out players from Evansville North, Harrison, Central and Bosse to win Wednesday's United Bank River City Showcase dunk contest. Voegerl broke out three dunks for his floor act. He started with a slam from a self-lob, followed with a launch from the logo near the free throw line and finished up with a double-clutch reverse throwdown.
“It’s fun because they never expected me to jump like that,” said Voegerl, who won sectional and regional high jump track titles last season before finishing fifth overall at state. “After it was over they all congratulated me and it was a cool experience.”
Rohrer helped Voegerl prepare for the contest setting him up with dunks that he thought would best show off the forward’s verticality and creativity. He knew Voegerl had a chance to surprise some people and steal the show.
“Even with all of the Evansville schools competing, I was going to be shocked if he didn’t win,” said Rohrer. “He’s a crazy good athlete. We told him he should try some crazy things, because even his crazy misses are better than most guys’ made dunks. I just gave him a couple I thought would look good and win it that were easy for him.”
Voegerl is proud of winning the dunk contest but hopes to put his superior athleticism to good use on both ends of the floor for the Raiders now that their season is underway.
“I plan to use it on defense mostly,” he said. “Defense is going to win us games. On offense, I’ll help on the rebounding and get easy layups off of it.”
Rohrer said having standout individual talents like Montgomery and Voegerl makes it fun to watch and coach the Raiders when they are clicking during their games. He said there were moments like that against Castle, but he can’t wait to see what the Raiders become as they build their chemistry during the winter.
“When we were going good in the second quarter, it was so fun to watch,” he said. “It wasn’t us running any plays. It was just our guys using their ability, making reads from the defense and taking advantage because they’re just very talented players. Whenever we get a little more comfortable playing with each other, we’re going to be even better throughout the rest of this year.”
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