RACINE, Ohio — Defense like that can make up for a few mishaps.
The Southern girls basketball team committed 29 turnovers on Monday night in Meigs County, but the Lady Tornado defense picked up the slack and the hosts claimed a 43-19 victory over Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division guest Trimble.
The Lady Tornadoes (10-9, 7-7 TVC Hocking) led 9-1 by the midway point of the first period. Trimble (7-13, 4-10) scored its only field goal of the first half with 3:56 left in the first quarter, but Southern ended the stanza with a 9-0 run and an 18-3 lead.
Neither team connected from the field in the first four minutes of the second period, but both SHS and THS sank a pair of free throws. The Purple and Gold ended the quarter with a 9-to-2 run, giving the hosts a 29-7 lead at the break.
The Lady Tornadoes outscored THS by a 14-5 count in the third quarter, as the Lady Tornadoes extended the lead to a game-high 31 points, at 43-12.
Southern didn’t score in the finale, but held Trimble without a field goal for over seven minutes to start the period, en route to the 43-19 SHS victory.
The Lady Tornadoes had lost three straight games prior to Monday. The Lady Tomcats have now lost their last three league decisions.
“In the first half, that’s the best we’ve played for a while,” SHS head coach Kent Wolfe said. “I think its the best we’ve played since Portsmouth Clay. We didn’t need Faith (Teaford) to score, we got extra scoring from other people. Trimble is pretty good defensively, but I know they’ve had trouble scoring a little bit. It’s nice to win, it’s nice to have a win like that.”
The Lady Tornadoes held a 39-to-28 rebounding advantage, including 13-to-9 on the offensive glass. Trimble committed 27 turnovers in the setback, two fewer than SHS. Both teams recorded 15 steals, but Southern claimed a 6-to-2 edge in blocked shots and a 10-to-2 assists advantage.
“We ran with the ball tonight, we pushed it, and that’s what we have to do,” Coach Wolfe said. “We can not walk the ball down the floor, we have to push it. I thought Phoenix (Cleland) did a real nice job pushing the ball. We just have to keep building from this.”
Southern shot 14-of-55 (25.5 percent) from the field, including 1-of-8 (12.5 percent) from three-point range. Meanwhile, the Lady Tomcats were 4-of-45 (8.9 percent) from the field, including 1-of-19 (5.3 percent) from beyond the arc. Both teams attempted 22 free throws, with Southern making 14 for 63.6 percent, and Trimble making 10 for 45.5 percent.
SHS senior Faith Teaford led the Purple and Gold with a double-double of 19 points and 14 rebounds, to go with a game-best three blocked shots. Phoenix Cleland was next for Southern with six points, followed by Macie Michael with five.
Baylee Wolfe and Jaiden Roberts both recorded four points, with Roberts dishing out a game-best three assists. Sierra Cleland posted three points for the victors, while Josie Cundiff had two points and a team-high four steals.
Emily Ward, Sydney Hardy and Skylar Moore each scored five points for the Lady Tomcats, while Breanna Brammer and Kaitlyn Spears each added two points. Ward had team-highs of seven rebounds and four steals for THS.
These teams are scheduled to meet again on Saturday afternoon in Glouster, in a game which was originally scheduled for January 5.
Prior to and following the game Southern honored seniors Ashley Acree, Sierra Cleland, Macie Michael and Faith Teaford as part of Senior Night.
Both SHS and THS are back in action on Thursday, as Trimble hosts Eastern, and Southern visits South Gallia.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.