GREENSBURG — South Decatur enjoyed a fifth straight win on the basketball court over its county rival. However, Saturday’s victory at North Decatur came with a setback.
Junior Hunter Johnson suffered an injury in the third quarter of South’s 73-49 win. Johnson went up high for a rebound and lost his balance when a defender tried to dislodge the ball. He tried to brace the fall with his right hand.
Johnson went to the hospital and an X-ray showed a fracture of a bone in the growth plate of his shooting wrist. He’ll wear a cast for at least two weeks, SD coach Kendall Wildey said.
Johnson is averaging 22.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.
Senior Chase Boswell will move into the starting lineup, Wildey said, and the Cougars’ experienced players will have to step up their games.
“Where do we pick up the scoring and rebounding? Those guys who have a lot of experience are just going to have to pick it up,” Wildey said.
The injury put a damper on an otherwise celebratory day for the Cougars.
Lane Lauderbaugh continued his outstanding play and set another school record. One game after pouring in a SD record 49 points at Columbus East, Lauderbaugh racked up 40 points and 14 rebounds.
“He had a pretty good week,” Wildey said.
Lauderbaugh now has 715 career rebounds, surpassing Jack Emly’s record of 702. (Matt Cornett could be in the conversation for the record, but his senior year rebounding totals somehow got lost.)
Lauderbaugh drained four 3-pointers was an efficient 12-for-22 from the field. The 6-foot-6 forward could’ve tied or broken his newly-set scoring record had he shot better at the free-throw line. He finished 12-for-21 at the stripe.
The rebounding record is the latest for Lauderbaugh, who is also the school’s all-time career scoring leader. He now sits at 1,735 career points.
Johnson had 13 points, four rebounds and four steals before leaving.
Senior Tyler Sporleder also scored 13, while Chase Boswell added six.
Evan Wullenweber made four steals for the Cougars.
Lance Nobbe led the Chargers in scoring (16) and rebounding (12). Reid Messer added 12 points and Andrew Tielking chipped in nine.
Trent Gauck dished a team-high four assists for the Chargers (3-13).
It was South’s second victory this season over the Chargers after beating them three times last year. This was for the Civil War trophy, with the Cougars taking the Mid-Hoosier Conference matchup 81-49 in January.
North Decatur’s junior varsity squad avenged a loss earlier this season at South by winning 60-45.
The Chargers put four players in double-figures: Caiden Gahimer 20, Nate O’Dell 11, Conner Linkmeyer 11 and Messer 11. Gaihmer also led the team with 10 rebounds.
Johnson stands at 1,134 career points, fifth all-time on South’s list even though he’s only a junior.
While it won’t be easy replacing Johnson’s scoring, his defense will also be very difficult to replace.
The Cougars might go to playing a zone, even though Wildey said they won’t change their identity of being a fast-paced team that presses.
South (10-6) has already dealt with multiple quarantine periods this season, and this is another obstacle in their way.
“It really seemed like we were just starting to gel and things were coming into play. The guys were playing well together, people were really starting to figure out some roles,” Wildey said.
“It’s just another bump in the road for us that we’ll have to overcome.”
The good news for the Cougars is five of their next six games will be at home. They’ll host Crothersville (3-12) Tuesday.
North Decatur also plays Tuesday, traveling to Milan (8-8).