Cougars struggle against Oldenburg Academy

GREENSBURG — Oldenburg Academy senior Ben Kinker proved to be unstoppable Friday night in a South Decatur Sectional semifinal game against the host team.

Kinker was hitting his shots inside the paint. When he was contained inside, he drained almost every 3-point shot he took as he went on and scored a game-high 32 points. As a result, Oldenburg Academy handed South Decatur a 67-31 loss.

Oldenburg Academy now goes on to face Hauser, who won 75-48 against Waldron in the first semifinal contest tonight at 7:30.

The Cougars finished the season 12-13 and South Decatur coach Bryan Dixon said the team is much-improved.

“We almost won 10 more games than what we did last year,” Dixon said. “It was a huge, huge accomplishment for our program. Finishing just a game under .500 was huge momentum considering we only won eight games in three years.”

South Decatur tried to slow the pace down for Oldenburg (22-3) in the first 4 1/2 minutes of the first quarter. It worked momentarily as they led 3-0, but the Twisters found a way speed up the momentum and the Cougar lead quickly vanished. The Twisters led 12-6 after the opening quarter.

The Twisters put the game away in the second quarter by starting out on an 11-3 run. The Cougars could not find a way to respond the rest of the game.

The Twisters went on a 10-0 to start the fourth quarter. Both teams emptied their benches with about three minutes left in regulation.

South Decatur loses a lot to their lineup next season with the departure of seniors Hunter Seegers, Oakley Billingsley, Nick Benge, Nathan Benge, Logan Owens, Kyle Johannigman and Will Smiley.

“I wish they all could come back another year,” Dixon said. “They meant a whole lot to this program.”

The future looks bright for the Cougar program despite the major losses.

“We got a lot of younger kids coming into the program. It is going to be good for our program to go on and see what we can do,” Dixon said.

For the Cougars, Matt Cornett finished with eight points, while Billingsley added seven.

For Oldenburg, Michael Wandstrat finished with 11 points and Chase Hogg added nine.