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Raiders win overtime victory over Deerfield-Windsor

By David Busman

 

AMERICUS – Southland seniors Alex Roach and Saige Batten showed senior leadership when it was most needed in the Raiders’ 55-52 overtime victory over Deerfield-Windsor Friday night, February 2, at Southland Academy.

Roach was deadly from the foul line, hitting 13-14 free throws for the game. Those free throws were the majority of his game-high 21 points. Saige Batten also came through for the Raiders, scoring 17 points on the night.

It didn’t look good for Southland in the first half as the Raiders trailed the Knights 27-11 at halftime. However, the Raiders woke up in the third quarter. Batten and fellow senior Harrison Bell each scored eight points in the third quarter to bring the Raiders back to life. Southland was able to cut the Knights’ lead to five points.

With a little over two minutes left in the third quarter, Southland only trailed DW 32-29. Roach hit 4-of-5 free throws in the third quarter, and the Raiders only trailed DW 38-36 at the end of the quarter.

In the early stages of the fourth quarter, Saige Batten electrified the home crowd when he knocked down a three-pointer. That three-pointer gave the Raiders their first lead of the ball game at 39-38.

After a series of back-and-forth exchanges, the game was tied at 43-43 with two minutes left in regulation. Alex Raoch maintained his consistency at the foul line, scoring a three-point play to put the Raiders ahead again.

Southland junior Chandler Studdard with the ball against Deerfield-Windsor

The Raiders led by two with 25 seconds to go in regulation, but a foul allowed the Knights to tie the game at 48-48 at the end of regulation. The game would need overtime to decide a winner.

Both teams struggled to maintain during the extra period. Southland took the lead 53-52 with 22 seconds left in overtime. Southland had the ball when Alex Roach was fouled. Roach sank both free throws to secure the come-from-behind 55-52 victory.

“We weren’t playing patiently in the first half”, Southland Head Coach Rundy Foster said. “After we slowed the game down, our performance improved. The victory was a team effort. We stayed cool and brought it back in the second half.”

The Raiders are now 5-1 in region play and 17-3 overall. The Raiders travel to Valdosta Tuesday night, February 6, to take on Valwood to contest the number one seed for next week’s region tournament to be held at the Storm Dome. Tip-off at Valwood is scheduled for 8 p.m.