RACINE, Ohio — When the going got tough, the Lady Tornadoes turned to their senior leader.
SHS senior Faith Teaford posted 36 points and 20 rebounds on Monday night, leading the Lady Tornadoes to a 49-26 triumph over Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division guest South Gallia.
The Lady Rebels (2-7, 1-7 TVC Hocking) scored the first three points of the game, but were held off the board for the remainder of the opening period, as the Lady Tornadoes (7-5, 4-3) built a 10-3 lead.
Southern began the second quarter with a two-minute, 6-0 run that extended the advantage to 17-3. South Gallia scored seven of the next nine points to cut the Lady Tornado advantage to single digits, but SHS claimed the final two points of the half and led 21-10 headed into the break.
South Gallia began the second half with a 5-0 run, cutting its deficit to 21-15. However, Southern ended the third quarter with an 11-3 run, with Teaford scoring all 11 SHS points.
Southern outscored SGHS 17-to-8 in the finale and won by a 49-26 count, with the final margin of 23 as the game’s largest lead.
“I credit our defense, you give up 26 points and you have to be happy with that,” SHS head coach Kent Wolfe said. “They went with four small players and tried to spread us out a little bit. I thought Sierra Cleland was in a mismatch because she had to guard (Aaliyah) Howell, but she did a nice job on her. Credit Phoenix Cleland and Jaiden Roberts for doing a real nice job on (Erin) Evans, we tried to put two people on her, not to allow her to set her feet too much. She hit a few shots, but your good shooters are going to hit a few.”
The Lady Tornadoes held a 35-to-13 advantage in rebounding, including a 10-to-6 edge on the offensive glass. SHS also had a 10-to-5 assists and a 7-to-1 edge in blocked shots. The Lady Rebels won the turnover battle by a 19-to-10 tally, however, with the guests marking 10 steals, four more than SHS.
“Our defense picked up a little bit and started forcing them to turn the ball over,” SGHS head coach Corey Small said. “We handled pressure better than we have in the past. We’re young, so we’re growing, which is what I want to see.”
Southern was 15-of-32 (46.8 percent) from the field, including 2-of-6 (33.3 percent) from three-point range, while SGHS shot 10-of-46 (21.7 percent) from the field, including 6-of-23 (26 percent) from deep. Southern made 17-of-18 (94.4 percent) free throw attempts, while the Lady Rebels came up empty in four trips to the stripe.
“We got the ball in to Faith and she was real successful on the inside, they didn’t have an answer for her,” Coach Wolfe said. “I credit our kids for getting the ball in, they made some nice feeds in to her. She got to the foul line a lot and she’s been almost deadly from the foul line for the last four or five games.”
Teaford’s 36 points — a career-high for the two time All-Ohioan — came on 10 field goals, including one three pointer, along with a 15-of-16 shooting performance from the charity stripe. Of Teaford’s 20 rebounds, eight were offensive boards. The newest member of the SHS 1,000-point club also recorded a game-best four blocked shots.
“When we put pressure on their guards, it kind of slowed down Faith Teaford, but we had no answer, at all,” said Coach Small. “Faith is a really good ball player and we didn’t have anyone that could match up with her inside.”
SHS got seven points from Josie Cundiff, along with two points each from Shelbi Dailey, Phoenix Cleland and Sierra Cleland. Sierra Cleland and Macie Micheal both marked three assists in the win, while Michael and Roberts both recorded two steals.
The Red and Gold were led by Erin Evans, who posted 11 points on three trifectas and one two-pointer. Lady Rebels’ freshman Kiley Stapleton made two triples and finished with six points, while Aaliyah Howell added five points and a team-best two assists.
Christine Griffith and Olivia Hornsby both scored two points for South Gallia, with Griffith pulling in a team-best seven rebounds and Hornsby marking a game-high four steals. Evans recorded three steals for the SGHS defense, while Aaliyah Howell rejected one shot.
These teams are scheduled to clash again on February 3, in Mercerville.
Southern will look for it’s third straight win on Thursday, when it hosts Federal Hocking, which has won five of its last six games, including three straight.
South Gallia returns to action on Wednesday, when the Lady Rebels attempt to snap their two-game skid, with a trip to Symmes Valley for a non-conference clash. The Lady Rebels and Lady Vikings met on November 30, in Gallia County, but with SVHS on top 29-10 early in the third quarter, the lights went out and the game was ruled a no contest. South Gallia returns to league play on Thursday, at Eastern.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.