WESTPORT – The 3-pointers were falling Tuesday night when Oldenburg Academy played at South Decatur.
The Cougars and Twisters combined to make 22 shots from behind the arc. However, SD made more and opened up a 30-point lead in the second half on its way to a 76-58 win.
Oldenburg (6-10) had its three-game winning streak snapped. The Twisters played a 1-2-2 and 2-3 zone most of the game.
South Decatur coach Kendall Wildey said the Cougars were happy to play against a zone because they don’t see that very much, and it could help them come tournament time if a team breaks tendency.
“We were able to run some sets pretty effectively,” Wildey said, “especially when we could get it inside and then kick out; those were the good looks we got for 3s. Overall, I thought we attacked it pretty well.”
Six different South Decatur players combined to drain 12 shots from behind the arc.
Evan Wullenweber and Jacob Scruggs each knocked down four trifectas. Scruggs scored 14 points and Wullenweber netted 12. They also grabbed seven rebounds apiece.
Lane Lauderbaugh led the Cougars (13-7) with 17 points and five assists, plus he had six boards.
Hunter Johnson returned to the lineup, coming off the bench and scoring eight points. The junior had missed the past three games with a fracture in his right wrist, which required wearing a cast for two weeks.
Johnson, who had been practicing with the Cougars and taking left-handed shots, had the cast removed Monday afternoon. Although he didn’t make any jumpers from the perimeter, Johnson helped the Cougars with four rebounds and four steals. Plus, Wildey said it’s only a matter of time before his jump shots start falling again.
“It’s really good to get him back on the floor,” Wildey said.
Oldenburg got hot late, scoring half of its points in the fourth quarter. The Twisters switched to a half-court trap that slowed down the Cougars and forced turnovers. Plus, OA got hot from the perimeter and finished with 10 3-pointers.
“We played very well in the fourth quarter,” OA coach Gary Moorman said. “South Decatur is an extremely talented team. They possess a tough combination of being long and fast, plus they shoot very well. Add all of that together and it’s a tall task for anyone.”
Moorman said the Twisters missed some chances from close range in the first half that could’ve altered the game. South led 37-18 at halftime, then got hot in third quarter.
OA senior Wil Freeland hit four 3s, plus converted a traditional three-point play, to score a game-high 22.
Senior Andrew Osterling made a pair of 3s and scored 14 points. Charlie Schebler also sunk two 3s and finished with 10 points.
Oldenburg had five players make 3-pointers, including Connor Miles and Riley Schebler.
Drew Diekhoff, Dale Peters and Chase Boswell also made 3s for South. Diekhoff scored seven points off the bench.
It was the final home game for South seniors Lauderbaugh, Boswell, who scored seven, and Tyler Sporleder, who scored six.
Up next for OA
Oldenburg finishes the regular season Thursday at Lawrenceburg (12-10).
The Twisters will begin their sectional title defense Tuesday against Morristown, the school they beat in last year’s championship. Their game this season got canceled.
Moorman said the Twisters have played with tremendous effort and intensity all year, and they’ve improved in some other areas recently.
“We need to get out and contest 3s a little better,” he said, “but don’t change anything in the effort department.”
Up next for SD
South will be a heavy favorite to win for the sixth time in seven chances Friday at Knightstown (0-19).
The Cougars drew a bye in sectional and will await the winner between North Decatur and South Ripley. It will be good for them to rev back up practice intensity after missing so many in recent weeks with the weather.
“We need the practices just to build our stamina back up,” Wildey said.
“Usually, I’ve cut practices down in a normal year to 45 minutes to an hour at this point in time, just to save the legs. We’ve cut back to about an hour and a half, but nothing like we normally do.”
Typically, Wildey likes playing on Tuesday in sectional. But with not knowing when Hunter might return, he was fine with the getting a bye.
“The draw was OK with us,” Wildey said. “We’ll be able to have some time to prepare for North or South Ripley.”