Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local Sports

December 8, 2012

Raiders narrowly miss victory, Lady Raiders fall to Westfield

PERRY — The Southland Academy Raiders and Lady Raiders traveled to Perry on Friday night to take on the Westfield High School Lady Patriots and Patriots in GISA Region 1-AAA action. At the end of the night, Westfield celebrated a big win in the girl’s game while also enjoying a nail-biter victory in their match-up with the Raiders.

The Lady Raiders knew that they were in for a tough test in Perry when they faced off with the defending GISA Class AAA State Runner Up Lady Hornets. As expected, the Lady Hornets came out firing on all cylinders, and by the end of the first quarter Southland found themselves trailing 25-10.

The Lady Raiders, without starting junior Mary Melissa Roland, were playing a much younger lineup and the second quarter was more of the same as the Lady Hornets stormed out to a 47-19 lead going into the halftime break.

The Lady Raiders 2-3 zone defense helped slow the Lady Hornet scoring attack some in the third quarter, but unfortunately for Southland, Westfield’s full court press caused many turnovers and rushed shots to give their own offense the momentum back. At the end of the third quarter the Westfield lead had grown to 71-25, and the Lady Hornets added 16 more points in the final quarter while only surrendering four to claim the 87-29 region victory.

Despite the lopsided score, sophomore guard Ella Hawkins and eighth grader Madison McPherson each had big nights offensively with 10 points apiece. Hawkins also pulled down four rebounds, and McPherson added three rebounds.

The Raiders followed their female counterparts on the enemy’s court, and in this game Southland was the team that came out firing on all cylinders. The Raiders scored 16 first quarter points to rush out to an early 16-12 lead. The Hornets of Westfield would storm back in the second quarter, however, by outscoring the Raiders 15-7 to claim a 27-22 halftime lead.

The second half would prove to be an action-packed two quarters as the Raiders pulled to within three points of the Hornet lead as time expired in the third quarter. Despite a furious run by the Raiders in the final period, the Southland boys would come up just short as the Hornets went shot-for-shot with them. After splitting the final period, the Raiders fell by the same three point deficit they faced following the third quarter, with the final score being 46-43 in favor of the Hornets.

Colby Webb led the way for the Raiders with his second double-double in a row, scoring 22 points and pulling down 12 rebounds in the tough region loss. Dustin Shattles also had a tremendous offensive night for the Raiders, scoring 14 points, while Geoffrey McDonald had a excellent night under the basket, pulling down 15 rebounds.

Raider head coach Rundy Foster was proud of the way his boys played on the road in what he described as a ‘great high school basketball environment’. “We responded very well in that environment,” Foster said. “We have got to make more free throws, but I was pleased with the effort. We are playing hard and they are doing what I asked of them.”

The Raiders and Lady Raiders will play at home against Sherwood on Tuesday, which will be the first home game of the 2012-13 season for the boys. The Lady Raiders will tip off at 6:30 p.m., followed immediately by the Raiders game.


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