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Bad shooting night, early deficit lead to South loss

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By Brad Stephens

CRESTWOOD – When South Oldham's guard-heavy squad is making shots, there's not many teams that'll be able to keep up.

But when the Dragons go 5-of-24 from 3-point range and shoot 29 percent from the floor like they did Monday against Collins, that's a different story.

The Titans cruised past South 60-42 Monday in an early battle of two teams expected to contend for the boys Region 8 crown. Collins' Ralphie Stone scored 16 off the bench in the win, while Deion Cochran added 15 for the Titans.

“We just didn't shoot as well as we can,” said senior guard Scott Moore, who scored six points off the bench. “That's what it comes down to basically is our shooting. We're a good shooting team. We've just got to shoot good.”

The first half was especially frustrating offensively for the Dragons (1-1). South scored just 17 first-half points, hitting three field goals apiece in the first and second quarters. Meanwhile Collins (2-0) took over the game during that stretch.

The Dragons' early 8-2 lead turned into a 27-10 deficit as Collins went on a 25-2 run that spanned over the first and second quarters.

Stone, a preseason contender for Region 8 player of the year, scored nine of the Titans' points during that stretch. Meanwhile talented South shooters like senior guards Michael Griffin and Kyle Young just missed on a number of long shots.

“It seemed like this game meant more to Collins than it meant to us,” South coach Steve Simpson said. “I don't know if we're still satisfied from (the region championship) last year. Collins, we beat them last year... It just seemed like the intensity level was more with them on this particular night.”

South recovered a bit in the second half to keep the game respectable. The Dragons were out-scored just 26-25 during the second half, but the deficit was way too steep for them to get back into the game.

“When we don't shoot it well, it has a tendency, especially early in the season, to affect the other parts of our game,” Simpson said. “As the season goes on and they mature, a lot of times that will correct itself. But especially early, it's really tough when we're shooting bad.”

There were some positives for South Monday.

Senior guard Drew Greenwood scored six points and played aggressively throughout the night, leading the team with seven rebounds.

And Moore, a reserve who saw time only in the second and fourth quarters, hit a 3-pointer and attacked the basket on other chances during his time on the court. Simpson came away impressed by his performance, he said.

“I told them that Scott Moore's going to play more next game,” Simpson said. “I don't know whose minutes it's going to be, but he is going to play more the next game.”

Young scored a team-high 13 for the Dragons. In addition to Greenwood and Moore's six points apiece, senior guards Jonathan Blair and Zach McWilliams added five points each.

South now turns its attention to Lincoln County, who it'll meet at 2 p.m. Saturday at Mercer County as part of the Farmers National Bank Showcase.

The Patriots, perennially one of Region 12's best teams, are 1-1 this season.

“I know they're young,” Simpson said of Lincoln Co. “I know they press a lot. I know (coach) Jeff Jackson has won a state tournament before at University Heights and taken Lincoln County to the state tournament twice... We know it'll be a very, very challenging game.”

As for Monday's loss, Greenwood said South just needs to learn from the result and get better.

“We didn't come ready to play,” he said. “We didn't have much energy. We didn't look for each other on the court. We didn't knock down open shots. We just didn't play together as a team.

“(Collins) executed their plays and they were more energetic, like I said. They got it done.”

 

Collins 13 21 12 14 – 60

South Oldham 10 7 12 13 – 42

 

South – Young 13, Greenwood 6, Moore 6, Blair 5, McWilliams 5, Fields 2, Horsey 2, Miles 2, Griffin 1

Collins – Stone 16, Cochran 15, Kidwell 9, Sorrells 6, Miller 4, Vogel 2, Winstead 2