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Three Raiders score in double figures in win over Westwood

THOMASVILLE, GA – Despite being without the services of Luke and Landon Law, the Southland Academy Raider basketball team (SA) got strong performances from Owen Exley, Adam Smith and Nathan Duke as they led the Raiders to a 57-42 victory over Westwood (WS) in their first game of the Brookwood Holiday Shootout on Friday, December 20, at the Brookwood School in Thomasville, GA.

With the win, the Raiders stay undefeated at 4-0, while WS drops to 3-3 on the season.

While he was pleased with the win, SA head coach Rundy Foster wants to see better consistency out of his club in certain facets of the game.

“I think we need to be more constant on the defensive end,” Foster said. He went on to say that there were some breakdowns in their man-to-man defense at times and that the team needs to be more consistent in that area. “Obviously, we were a little outmanned with Luke and Landon Law being gone and then Nathan got hurt, so the guys are playing a little bit out of position…not where they normally would play, but I thought, for the most part, we played pretty good,” Foster said.

Landon Law is recovering from a broken collarbone and Luke Law had the flu. Nathan Duke separated his shoulder in the third quarter of this game.

Exley led the Raiders in scoring with 18 points and Smith poured in 15. Before he was injured, Duke was able to chip in 10 points in the winning cause. Max Foster scored five points and both Hunter McCain and Chase Ledger each scored four. Carmello Volley rounded out the Raiders’ scoring with two points.

Southland Academy forward Hunter McCain goes up for a rebound against Westwood. McCain scored four points in the Raiders’ win.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

By halftime, the Raiders had jumped out to a 28-15 lead. This was mostly due to SA’s strong defensive pressure, which forced several turnovers, particularly during the waning minutes of the second quarter. SA was also able to take advantage of the Wildcats’ inability to score consistently in the first half.

Both teams traded baskets during the first two minutes of the third quarter, but Smith and Foster each knocked down a three-pointer to push the Raiders’ lead to 38-21 with less than five minutes to play in the third quarter.

Southland Academy guard Carmello Volley pushes the ball up the court for the Raiders. Volley scored two points in the win over Westwood.
Photo by Ken Gustafson

The Raiders worked their half-court offense patiently in the third quarter as they looked for the high-percentage shot. Then with 2:35 to go, Smith drilled another three-pointer to help keep the Raiders’ double-digit lead. By the end of the third quarter, SA led 45-30.

SA continued to be patient on offense in their half-court sets and it paid off. With a little over five minutes left in the fourth quarter, Carmello Volley had the ball underneath the basket, but passed it out to Exley. Exley promptly drilled a baseline three-pointer and followed that up with a steal. He was then fouled while driving to the basket and made both free throws to give the Raiders a 52-33 lead with a little over three minutes left.

The Wildcats outscored the Raiders 9-5 the rest of the way, but it was too little too late as SA went on to win 57-42.

For the Wildcats, Fletcher Sheffield led all scorers with 23 points and Max Waters poured in 12. Maston Collins scored five points and Ethan Moss scored two to round out the WS scoring.

The Raiders will try to stay undefeated on the season when they take on Terrell Academy on Saturday, December 21, in their second game of the Brookwood Holiday Shootout. Tip off is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.