HUNGTINBURG - A difficult third quarter proved fatal as Washington was unable to cool off a hot Southridge squad in a 61-52 loss at Memorial Gymnasium on Tuesday.
Class 3A No. 12 Southridge (15-4) brought an eight-game winning streak into the contest against Washington (5-12) but the Hatchets fought well, leading 17-16 after one quarter before trailing 29-25 at halftime. But the Raiders claimed the third quarter 20-8 to take a 49-33 lead into the final eight minutes of action. The Hatchets outscored Southridge 19-12 in the fourth quarter but the damage had already been done.
Despite the loss, Washington coach Gene Miiller was pleased with his team’s performance against the taller Raiders on the same floor where his team will compete in sectional action in two weeks.
“I thought we all played hard, we moved the basketball well throughout the game against their match up. We cut and moved, there were times we did some things we wanted to do against them, but we were just a second late getting him the basketball or we missed him all together,” said Miiller.
“We just have to do a better job of that when we’re open. But Southridge is just so long, they’re lanky and athletic, it’s tough to pass the ball around there.”
The Raiders’ size advantage - Southridge started four players who stood 6-3 or taller - was a concern, but the Hatchets allowed just eight offensive rebounds. However, it wasn’t the second chance points that disappointed Miiller but too many easy first chances.
“You could see how they’ve won eight in a row, they played very well tonight,” Miiller said of Southridge. “I’ve seen them play twice live and about five or six times on film, and that’s best I’ve seen them play. They handled the basketball well, they shot the ball well, they moved the ball well. It looked like a well oiled machine, they just played really well tonight.