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So. Decatur 69, So. Ripley 61; 2A-44 Round 1 (SEILS webcast)

Greensburg- The boys’ 2A Sectional 44 tournament opening game Tuesday at North Decatur was as good as advertised.  No. 6 South Decatur overcame a 10-point deficit and heavy foul trouble to overtake and defeat a formidable foe in South Ripley, 69-61.

This game was part of our Highpoint Health Basketball Webcast Schedule and can be seen again in HD by clicking here.

Coach Tyler Theising’s Raiders came in with the mindset of topping the highly touted and only ranked team in Sectional 44.  After all, South Ripley took South Decatur to overtime back on December 21 before falling 76-75 in Versailles.

During the opening quarter, there were four lead changes.  The Raiders led by as many as four, 12-8, but the Cougars ran off seven straight to retake a 15-12 advantage.  SD led 15-14 at the stop thanks to eight points from Dominic Walters.  Cody Samples and Jaden Peetz both had five points in the period for the Ripley.

Coach Kendall Wildey saw foul trouble mounting in the second quarter as his three big guns – Lane Lauderbaugh, Hunter Johnson and Walters – all picked up two fouls with still 4:45 to play in the first half.  Lauderbaugh later collected his third at the 2:38 mark and Walters did the same with 61 seconds before intermission.

The combination of Cougar foul trouble and outstanding offensive rebounding by the Raiders helped the Versailles crew to a 35-26 lead at the half. Peetz had 13 points at the break with several acrobatic buckets.  Teammate Bryce Franklin scored eight in the second quarter surge which included two triples.

Down 10 early in the third quarter and in serious foul trouble, the team from Westport never waivered from its game plan.  They just executed better in the second half.  As a result, the Cougar defense forced more turnovers with fewer fous and converted more shots offensively.

On a 7-0 run to end the third, South Decatur was within two, 46-44.  Lauderbaugh erupted for 12 points in the quarter on two trifectas and a trio of deuces.  Samples scored seven for Team Green.

Then in the fourth after a couple of lead changes, the Cougars took the lead for good on a three-point play by Johnson.  As Lauderbaugh was the key to the Cougars third quarter, Johnson was the man in the fourth as he tallied 12 points.  He and Evan Wullenweber hit back-to-back bombs which seemed to be the backbreaker in the final frame as South Decatur went up 63-55.  Tyler Sporleder and Lauderbaugh each made the front and back ends of one-and-ones late to seal the 69-61 victory.

Our Southeastern Indiana REMC Power Players of the Game were South Decatur’s Lane Lauderbaugh, Hunter Johnson and Dominic Walters.  Collectively, they combined for 58 points and, individually, each had a quarter where they dominated scoring. Walters had 16 points overall with eight in the first, Johnson netted 20 with 12 in the fourth and Lauderbaugh scored 22 with 12 in the third.  Lauderbaugh also pulled down nine rebounds, Walters had seven assists while Johnson swiped four steals. All were team bests.

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