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South Range cruises past Springfield

Correspondent photo / Lowell Spencer South Range’s Landon Moore drives inside while Springfield’s Drew Miller defends.

NEW MIDDLETOWN – The South Range-Springfield rivalry has always been an intense affair no matter the sport.

Despite the winning records on both sides and all the makings of another huge game, the Raiders took early command with some hot shooting to cruise by the Tigers 66-41. The victory improved the Raiders to 15-6 on the season.

“They have been killing us overall, but we have been getting back at them the past couple of years,” South Range senior guard Dylan Turvey said. “This game helps prepare us for the tournament. They (Springfield) battle and play hard. They play as a team and their physicality helps prepare us for the playoffs.”

“South Range and Springfield is just a natural rivalry,” Raiders head coach Pat Carden added. “We looked at the record books before tonight, and Springfield is winning the series something like 80 to 20 something. South Range is a good basketball program now, and we are trying to prove that and improve that record game by game.”

The loss for the Tigers concludes their regular season with a 16-5 mark. They have clinched at least a share of the MVAC ScarletTier title.

“They were the better team tonight. They deserve the win,” Tigers head coach Jeff Brink said. “They have three big-time scorers, and we have been battling with health issues, so it definitely put us behind the eight ball. You can’t make excuses though, the better team won tonight.”

The Raiders were hot from the outside all night, connecting on 11 threes in the contest while their standout senior forward Landon Moore found plenty of operating room down low to control the inside scoring. Turvey hit five of those threes while Luke Rohan added three.

“Him (Moore) hitting shots inside, they collapse inside and then he kicks it out and we are able to get wide-open shots. It all kind of works together. We start hitting and then we can pass into the lane,” Turvey said.

Moore led the Raiders with 19 points while Turvey added 15 and Rohan had 14. Turvey grabbed seven rebounds to pace the Raiders on the boards.

“We are even scoring like that with three or four guys in double digits,” Carden said. “It just makes us a bit harder to guard. It adds a different element. Offensively, our execution was very good. Guys got open looks and we shared the ball well. Everything was flowing well.”

The Raiders took the home crowd out of the contest early as they quickly raced out to a 15-2 lead by the 2:37 mark of the opening quarter following a basket by junior guard Nate Lewis. They held a 12-point, 16-4 lead by the close of the first period.

After the Raiders built a 16-point advantage by the 4:58 mark of the second frame, the Tigers clawed back with a 5-0 run highlighted by a three by senior Drew Miller to make it 22-11 at 3:06 of the stanza. However, the Raiders continued to turn up the heat with an 11-6 run to close the first half with Moore scoring on a layup with just 8 seconds remaining in the half.

Following another basket by Moore and a three by Luke Rohan, the Raiders had built a game-high 25-point, 42-17 lead by the 7:02 mark of the third quarter. By the close of the third quarter, the Raiders enjoyed a 23-point advantage at 52-29.

“You expect Rohan and Moore to get theirs, but when Turvey, who is very streaky, so when he is going, he is a good ball player. Tonight, he was hitting them and that put us in a really tough position,” Brink said. “We didn’t do a solid job in some of our coverages. Right off the first play of the game, we blew the coverage. You can’t do that against good ball clubs.”

Despite the large deficit, the Tigers continued to battle to the end, matching the Raiders basket for basket in the final frame. A late basket by the Raiders reinstated the final 25-point final margin.

The Tigers were led by Dylan Sheely with nine points, while Sean Guerriero and Carson Cunningham added eight. Cunningham also grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Tigers on the boards.

“Our seniors have been great all year. Their effort has never wavered, and it was on display tonight. And it’s tough to battle when you’re down 20 early in the game and you have to just keep grinding,” Brink said.

The Raiders will be right back in action again Thursday when they host the Salem Quakers in another nonconference clash. The Tigers will open tournament play when they host Open Door Christian next Tuesday in their next game.

sports@vindy.com

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