GLOUSTER, Ohio — The Tornadoes capped off an excellent January in style.
The Southern boys basketball team earned its seventh win of the month Thursday night with a 57-52 Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division victory over host Trimble, in Athens County.
The Tornadoes (11-3, 8-2 TVC Hocking) trailed the Tomcats (6-5, 5-3) 19-to-12 after the opening quarter but rallied to cut the lead to three points at halftime.
Trimble extended the lead to 47-42 headed into the fourth period but the Silver and Red were held to just five points in the finale, as Southern surged to the 57-52 victory.
Taylor McNickle led the Purple and Gold with 19 points, followed by Tristen Wolfe with 14 and Chandler Drummer with 12. Dennis Teaford marked six points, Trenton Deem added five, while Zac Beegle capped of the Tornado total with one marker.
Southern shot 23-of-55 (41.8 percent) from the field, including 5-of-12 (41.7 percent) from beyond the arc. The Tornadoes were 6-of-16 (37.5 percent) from the free throw line in the victory. SHS as a unit marked 39 rebounds, 10 assists, two steals. two blocks and 10 turnovers.
Wolfe paced Southern with nine rebounds and two blocks, while Pickens led the way with three assists.
Trimble was led by Micah Couch with 24 points, followed by Dallas Slack with eight and Justice Jenkins with five. Grant Clark, Wyatt Bragg and Jacob Koons each had four points, Konner Standley had two and Jake Kish marked one to round out the hosts total.
THS shot 23-of-59 (38.9 percent) from the field, 2-of-18 (11.1 percent) from three point range and 4-of-8 (50 percent) from the free throw line. The Tomcats had 36 rebounds, 16 assists, five blocks, five steals and 11 turnovers.
Couch pulled down 10 boards to pace THS, while Standley’s six assists was a game-high. Clark’s three rejections anchored the Tomcat defense.
Southern will host Trimble in the rematch on Tuesday in Racine.
The Tornadoes went 7-1 in the month of January and have outscored opponents by an average of 11.4 points per game. Southern at 8-2 in league holds a half-game lead over Waterford (8-3) in the race for the TVC Hocking championship. The Tornadoes and Wildcats will face each other on February 18 in Washington County. Southern is in search of its first conference championship since 1992.