RACINE, Ohio — Another close battle between the Wildcats and Tornadoes.
The Southern and Waterford boys basketball teams — which split last season’s bouts with a four-point win by WHS and a two-point triumph by SHS— met for the first time this season on Tuesday in Meigs County, with the visiting Wildcats escaping with a 52-50 victory.
The Tornadoes (4-6, 2-4 TVC Hocking) trailed by a 14-to-8 clip eight minutes into play, and Waterford (7-2, 6-1) extended its advantage to 27-16 by halftime.
Southern went on a 15-to-10 run in the third quarter, trimming the WHS advantage to six points, at 37-31, headed into the finale. The Purple and Gold tallied 17 points over the final eight minutes, but the Wildcats posted 15 in the period to seal the 52-50 win.
In the contest, Southern shot 21-of-60 (35 percent) from the field, including 4-of-14 (28.6 percent) from three-point range, while Waterford connected on 20-of-45 (44.4 percent) field goals, including 4-of-10 (40 percent) three-point tries. Both sides struggled from the foul line, SHS making 4-of-11 (36.4 percent) and WHS sinking 8-of-19 (42.1 percent).
The Wildcats claimed a 29-to-26 rebounding edge, despite the Tornadoes winning the offensive glass by a 16-to-13 clip. The hosts finished with 11 turnovers, just two more than WHS. The Purple and Gold had team totals of nine steals, three assists and three rejections, while Waterford ended with eight assists.
SHS senior Weston Thorla led the Tornadoes with 17 points, nine of which came from beyond the arc. Trey McNickle finished with nine points and a pair of assists for the hosts, Cole Steele added seven points, while Brayden Cunningham marked six points and six rebounds.
Arrow Drummer contributed five points to the Tornado cause, Jensen Anderson chipped in with four, while Austin Baker recorded two points and six rebounds.
Thorla also led the Purple and Gold on defense with a trio of steals, followed by Drummer with two steals and a rejection.
Russell Young led the victors with 17 points, followed by Zane Heiss with 12, as well as Holden Dailey and Nick Fauss with seven points apiece.
These teams are set to meet again on Jan. 22 in Washington County. The Tornadoes will be back in action on Friday at Miller.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.