Jumpers fail to contain rally in loss to Madison Southern

Feb. 12—After bouncing back from a beat down at the hands of Wayne County with a victory over Metcalfe County, the Somerset Briar Jumpers, knee-deep in the midst of a six-game home stand to end the regular season, were in action on Saturday evening. They were squaring off with the Madison Southern Eagles, a solid team out of a stacked 11th Region.

The Jumpers came out on fire from the field, with the Eagles soon joining them in an offensive-heavy first half. The teams calmed down a bit in the second half, but it was the Eagles that came out on top after some controversial calls in the fourth quarter 66-62.

Indred Whitaker opened the game with two straight made from downtown and following a basket by Kole Grundy, the Eagles were forced into a very early timeout. Senior Zach Hudson had the first points for Madison Southern following an offensive put-back before yet another three from Whitaker as he continued his hot start with the Jumpers on top 11-2.

Zach Hudson nailed a three soon after and with both senior Jay Rose and junior Noah Thompson also scoring baskets, the Somerset lead was suddenly down to just 14-9. It was all Ben Godby late in the quarter, as he hit two from long range and scored seven points to give his team a 24-16 lead.

Godby scored another two to begin the second before a three-pointer from junior Micah Whitaker. It seemed that neither team could miss from deep in the period, with several Madison Southern players nailing threes along with Aedyn Absher and Jamison Coomer for the Jumpers. Godby had four more near the end of the quarter, although following threes from Micah Whitaker and junior Casen Nobbe, the Somerset lead was down to just 40-38 at the break. The teams combined for 36 points in that quarter.

Absher and senior Braden Hudson traded three-pointers as the third quarter got started. Rose drilled a three to give the Eagles their first lead of the game, forcing Somerset to call a timeout to calm down the offense of their opponents. Somerset just couldn't seem to catch up throughout a majority of the quarter, as Rose had a slam dunk and senior Avery Davidson added a three to increase the Madison Southern lead to 51-45.

It took Somerset just two trips down the floor to tie it up though, as Indred Whitaker scored six straight points to tie the game up at 51-51. A shot by Zach Hudson was good shortly before the buzzer however, as Madison Southern found themselves up 53-51 heading into the final period.

Three-pointers galore rained down to start the fourth, as Absher hit one and Nobbe nailed two to increase the Madison Southern lead to 59-54. A big swing took place when Indred Whitaker hit a three and Grundy was fouled on the inbound, giving himself two free throws to put Somerset ahead 61-60. It was then a free throw battle for the remainder of the contest, one that the Eagles found themselves on the winning end of. Some late technical free throws were awarded and a final free throw hit by Nobbe sealed a 66-62 loss for Somerset.

The Jumpers were led by Godby with a game-high 24 points and 12 rebounds for a double-double, as well as Indred Whitaker with 19 and Absher with 11. Kole Grundy added five and Coomer had three to wrap up the scoring for the home team. Madison Southern was led by Rose with 21 points.

Somerset now sits at 16-8 after dropping their fourth contest in their past six games and will look for some positive momentum with four home games in the final two weeks of the regular season.

Jacob Pratt is the Sports Editor of the Commonwealth Journal and can be reached at