HEMLOCK, Ohio — Too little, too late.
The Southern boys basketball team scored 28 points over the final eight minutes of play, on Friday night in Perry County, but it wasn’t enough, as Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division host Miller claimed a 75-64 triumph.
The Falcons (5-7, 5-4 TVC Hocking) — winners of three straight — soared to a 21-10 lead by the conclusion of the first quarter, and led 34-22 at halftime.
Miller outscored the Tornadoes (6-7, 5-4) by a 23-14 clip in the third quarter, pushing the hosts lead to 57-36.
Southern had 13 successful field goal attempts in the first three quarters combined, but turned up the offense for 10 field goals in the fourth quarter. Southern’s 28-point period was answered by 18 points by Miller, sealing the 75-64 MHS victory.
For the game, Southern held a 32-to-27 rebounding advantage, with the Falcons winning the offensive glass by a 10-to-9 clip. The victors turned the ball over 12 times, while Southern gave away possession 16 times. As a team, the Purple and Gold recorded 13 assists and seven steals.
SHS was 23-of-53 (43.4 percent) from the field, including 8-of-24 from three-point range. Meanwhile, MHS was 27-of-51 (52.9 percent) from the field, including 5-of-9 (55.6 percent) from deep. Miller made 16-of-32 (50 percent) free throw attempts, while Southern was 10-of-18 (55.6 percent) from the line.
SHS junior Dylan Smith led the guests with 17 points, five rebounds and six assists. Tylar Blevins poured in 14 points and came up with a team-high three steals for Southern, while Trey Pickens added 10 points and a team-best eight rebounds.
Trey McNickle scored six points for the Purple and Gold, Blake Johnson and Weston Thorla both contributed five points, while Crenson Rogers and Kody Greene rounded out the SHS total with four and three points respectively.
Blevins and Pickens both made two three-pointers for the Tornadoes, while Johnson, McNickle, Thorla and Greene each drained one triple.
Alec Eveland led the Falcons with 19 points, followed by Carson Starlin with 18 and Seattle Compston with 17. Collin Pargeon scored eight points, Colby Bartley added six, while Colton Brown marked four, Cole Geil chipped in with two and Drew Starlin contributed one point.
Southern has now lost back-to-back games and falls below .500 for the first time this season.
The Miller win evens the season series between these teams at one game apiece, as the Purple and Gold claimed a 74-47 win over the Falcons on December 9, in Racine.
Southern returns to action at home on Tuesday, when it hosts Wahama, which owns a one-point victory over SHS from a December 13 matchup on Gary Clark Court.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.