Indians off to strong start
COLUMBIANA – The Southern Indians have high hopes for this season.
On Friday night at Crestview, they methodically pulled away from the Rebels to stay unbeaten on the young season with a 62-38 victory.
The Indians improve to 3-0 on the season while the Rebels drop to 0-3.
“I think we are a very good team,” Southern senior Cam Grodhaus said. “This year especially, we have been together for three years now and I think we are really coming together. It’s going to be something special.”
“It’s a huge game for us because of coach (Grimm) coming from Crestview, so it’s a rival for us,” junior Brock Smalley said.
Grimm had served as a Crestview assistant coach in the past.
“For us, we have goals and one of them is to be able to compete in the OVAC tournament which this is an OVAC game so this was big for us,” Indians head coach Gerald Grimm said. “With them being a bigger school, we knew the points that it (win) would bring us. We knew this is one we couldn’t slip up on.”
Grodhaus paced the Indians with 29 points on the night including four treys. Brock Smalley reached double digits as he netted 11 points.
“I give all the credit to my guys for finding me when I’m open,” Grodhaus said. “I just get some lucky shots to go in.”
“No moment is too big for him,” Grimm said about Grodhaus. “When you look at the game that way, it all slows down for you and it seems easier.”
He also had praise for his point guard Smalley.
“He is a kid that has worked tirelessly in the off-season. It’s starting to pay off. Him and Cam are neck and neck in points.”
Following a hard-fought 16-9 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Indians went on a 9-2 run to pull out to a 25-11 lead midway through the second period. They ended up holding a 15-point, 31-16 lead at the intermission.
“I give so much credit to them, “ Rebels head coach Rick Gates said. “At the end of the first quarter, we thought we battled back after struggling on four or five early possessions. Then they (Southern) came out in that second quarter and played well and hit some shots and we didn’t execute very well.”
Following a bucket and free throw by Grodhaus at the 5:36 mark of the third quarter, the Indians pulled out to a 21 point, 38-17 advantage. The Indians would hold a commanding 26-point, 51-25 lead at the end of the quarter courtesy of a three by Grodhaus at the buzzer.
“Our post-work hard every day, they move so they are always able to get open and we can shoot the ball good. We work on that every day also. Shooting the ball, getting open, kick-outs so it’s really a part of our game that we are confident in,” Smalley said.
The Rebels outscored the Indians 13-11 in the final frame to close the game to the 24-point final margin.
The loss overshadowed a tremendous performance by the Rebels junior forward Drake Golden who scored 28 of the Rebels 38 points on the night. He would also pull down 12 caroms to lead all players in rebounds.
“He works so hard inside and at times we get frustrated because there are times we can even get him the ball more often. But a good defensive, athletic team like Southern doesn’t let you just throw it right in. But I’m glad for Drake that he had a good outing,” Gates said.
The Indians will return to action Tuesday night when they host OVAC opponent Steubenville Catholic Central. The Rebels will begin AAC league competition in their next contest when they host Liberty next Friday.
Crestview won the jayvee game, 53-41. Conner Hughes had 15 for Crestview.
SOUTHERN SCORING: Brock Smalley 4-1-11, Cam Grodhaus 10-5-29, Bradly Sloan 2-0-5, Jayce Sloan 1-0-2, Tanner Paterson 2-1-5, Sam May 2-0-4, Josh Pratt 2-0-4, Mark Soukup 1-0-2. TEAM TOTALS: 24, 7-9: 62.
CRESTVIEW SCORING: Brandon Yanssens 0-0-0, Kirtland Miller 0-0-0, Drake Golden 12-4-28, Tony Perorazio 1-0-2, Dom Wycoff 0-0-0, Jack Yerkey 0-1-1, Anthony Cusick 1-2-5, Matthew Strank 1-0-2. TEAM TOTALS: 15, 7-16: 38.
Three-point goals: Southern 7 (Cam Grodhaus 4, Brock Smalley 2, Bradly Sloan 1), Crestview 1 (Anthony Cusick 1)