Werner gets 200th Southridge winJanuary 14, 2020
By JONATHAN SAXON
HUNTINGBURG — The Southridge girls basketball team played a wire-to-wire game against the Northeast Dubois Jeeps, and with their 32-26 victory, delivered head coach Greg Werner his 200th victory with the Raiders (8-9). While there is no standard way to feel about achieving such a milestone, Werner took time to acknowledge a very interesting implication that came with the win.
“I guess I’m getting old,” said Werner, while adding that beating his alma mater made it a bit sweeter. “(I’ve) coached a lot of games. It’s something I’ll look back on later on in life. Representing Southridge all the years I was here as a teacher, coach and administrator, that’s one of the most important things (to me). That’s the most I take out of it.”
The Raiders certainly had to work for it on Tuesday night. They did have the benefit of a great start. Sophomore forward Mikah Geoppner and freshman guard Marie Tempel pushed the Raiders out to a 7-0 lead. Junior guard Jazlyn Sander found a sliver inside to get the Jeeps (5-12) on the board, but Goeppner fired off a three in response to give the Raiders the 10-2 lead. Sophomore forward Hadley Fuhrman took a trip to the line and made both her shots as the first came to a close, but the Jeeps went into the second quarter with a six-point deficit.
Junior guard Kennedy Nalley got her first points of the game with a run at the basket to start the second. The Jeeps started to chip away at the lead with free throws from sophomore forward Brinley Royer and freshman forward Rhylan Kalb and a bucket from freshman guard Reagan Knies. A second chance shot from Fuhrman got the Jeeps within three at 13-10 before the half.
Nalley and junior center Abigail Kerkhoff extended the Raiders lead to 17-10 to start the third, but the Jeeps punched back with a long two-pointer from senior guard Madison Cave and a 1-of-2 trip to the line from senior guard Haley Reckelhoff. Another scoring drive from Nalley closed the third quarter as the Raiders continued to hold the Jeeps at bay, 19-13.
Sander and Fuhrman led off the fourth quarter with four points and got the Jeeps within one possession of tying it up, but Tempel responded with her second three to get the lead back to five. Then Fuhrman picked up a technical foul after being called for a push on Tempel away from the play. Nalley went on to hit both free throws, and Kerkhoff scored on the ensuing possession to put the Raiders up, 26-17. Sander and Royer came up with huge layups, and Fuhrman completed an and-one play to bring the Jeeps within 29-24 with less than 30 seconds remaining. Sander cut it to four with 12 seconds left, but Nalley came up with a turnover which she turned into a final coast-to-coast drive to put the game to rest.
Nalley finished with 11 points and six rebounds. Fuhrman had 10 points and five rebounds to lead the Jeeps.
“I’m glad we got the win, but I don’t think we came out and played very good,” said Nalley. “We struggled with a lot of stuff we’ve been working on in practice, and we need to clean it up and figure it out.”
Jeeps coach Andy Chinn felt like his team played the kind of defense that could have won them the game, but the lack of finishing and scoring nullified those efforts. The big task for the Jeeps is finishing possessions with scores instead of coming up empty on their shots.
“We got to start finishing plays,” he said. “We’re missing a lot of shots in the paint, looks that are really good. Holding a team to 32 points, we should be able to score more than that. We just weren’t crisp on offense throughout the night, and it really bit us in the end.”
“We just couldn’t get our shots to fall,” added Sander, who finished with seven points. “We’ve been working on running our offense and getting good, open looks and not throwing up stuff. (We’ll) keep playing as hard as we can, every little thing will help us towards sectional.”
Werner also has his concerns about the Raiders’ offense, as he’s working to develop more consistent scoring threats to replace the production they lost when sophomore forward Myah Montgomery went down with a knee injury. That’s a worry for another day. For now, he just wants to enjoy the milestone victory with his players.
“The kids are the ones that need to have the success,” he said. “So, I’m glad for them."
The Raiders play Pocket Athletic Conference rivals South Spencer (2-15, 0-4) at 8.p.m. on Thursday, while the Jeeps get ready for a 7:30 p.m. road game to Montgomery to play Barr-Reeve (6-12).
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