Tornadoes breeze past Belpre, 54-40

By Alex Hawley -

RACINE, Ohio — Ending the skid with a season sweep.

The Southern boys basketball team — which claimed a 56-51 victory at Belpre, on January 6 — ended its four-game losing skid on Tuesday night, defeating the Golden Eagles 54-40, in Meigs County.

The opening quarter featured two ties and two lead changes, with the Tornadoes (7-9, 6-5 TVC Hocking) ending the stanza with an 8-to-2 run and a 13-9 advantage.

Southern never trailed after the first quarter, outscoring the Golden Eagles (5-12, 5-6) by a 19-to-12 clip in the second period to extend the lead to 32-21 at the half.

Southern held Belpre without a field goal in the third period, as an 11-to-2 run pushed the Tornado lead to 43-23 headed into the finale.

The Golden Eagles surged for 17 points over the final eight minutes, but SHS sealed the 54-40 victory with 11 points in the fourth quarter.

This is the first season sweep for the Tornadoes, who hadn’t won in Racine since December 20. The Golden Eagles have now lost three straight decisions.

Southern won the rebounding battle by a 26-25 edge, while holding advantages in assists (9-to-6) and steals (11-to-8). However, the Tornadoes committed 22 turnovers, while Belpre gave the ball away 14 times.

SHS shot 21-of-45 (46.7 percent) from the field, including 5-of-15 (33.3 percent) from three-point range. Meanwhile, Belpre shot 15-of-42 (35.7 percent) from the field, including 2-of-9 (22.2 percent) from beyond the arc. Southern made 7-of-12 (58.3 percent) free throws in the win, while BHS was 8-of-16 (50 percent) from the line.

SHS junior Dylan Smith led the Purple and Gold with 16 points, followed by senior Blake Johnson with 12. Crenson Rogers scored eight points for the Tornadoes, while marking team-highs of eight rebounds and three assists.

Tylar Blevins scored seven points and led the Tornado defense with four steals. Trey McNickle posted six points for the victors, Weston Thorla added four points, while Jonah Hoback chipped in with one point.

Belpre senior Deijon Bedgood led the guests with team-highs of 13 points, two assists and three steals. Cole Knotts and Logan Adams both scored nine points for BHS, while Nate Godfrey and Bailey Sprague both added four points, with Godfrey pulling in a game-best 10 rebounds. Mythius Houghton rounded out the Belpre offense with one point.

Both teams return to action on Friday, with Southern at South Gallia and Belpre at Eastern.

Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.

By Alex Hawley