Waterford holds off Tornadoes, 68-57


By Alex Hawley - ahawley@aimmediamidwest.com



WATERFORD, Ohio — So much for momentum.

The Southern boys basketball team had its three-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday in Washington County, as Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division host Waterford ended its three-game skid with a 68-57 victory over the Purple and Gold.

The teams were tied at eight after eight minutes of play, but the Wildcats (8-5, 7-3) went on a 18-to-10 second quarter run and headed into half with a 26-18 edge.

Southern (6-7, 5-5) was outscored by a 19-to-15 clip in the third period and trailed 45-33 with one stanza to play. The Tornadoes saved their best for last, pouring in 24 points over the final eight minutes, but the hosts sealed the 68-57 victory with a 23-point quarter, featuring a 9-of-10 performance from the free throw line.

Waterford claims a sweep of Southern for the first time since the 2016-17 season, as the Wildcats won by a 52-50 count on Jan. 8 in Racine.

The Tornadoes connected on 20-of-52 (38.5 percent) field goal attempts, including 7-of-20 (35 percent) three-point tries, while Waterford was 24-of-47 (51.1 percent) from the field, and 1-of-8 (12.5 percent) from beyond the arc. The hosts made 19-of-21 (90.5 percent) foul shots, while SHS was 10-of-18 (55.6 percent) from the charity stripe.

WHS won the rebounding battle by a 33-to-27 tally, with both teams grabbing 10 offensive rebounds. Southern committed a dozen turnovers, three fewer than Waterford, while collecting 10 assists, seven steals and four rejections. The hosts combined for 16 assists, eight blocked shots and a trio of steals.

SHS senior Weston Thorla hit a game-best five three-pointers and finished with 25 points, 21 of which came in the second half. Trey McNickle recorded nine points and three assists for the guests, Brayden Cunningham chipped in with eight points, while Cole Steele came up with seven points and three assists.

Jensen Anderson and Austin Baker rounded out the Tornado offense with five and three points respectively, with Baker pulling in a team-high 10 rebounds. The Southern defense was led by Thorla with three steals, and Cunningham with a pair of blocks.

Four Wildcats were in double figures, led by Holden Dailey with 16 points and Peyten Stephens with 14. Russell Young and Nick Fauss scored a dozen points apiece, Wesley Jenkins and Zane Heiss had five each, while Luke Teters finished with four.

Southern continues road work in the TVC Hocking on Friday at Wahama.

By Alex Hawley

ahawley@aimmediamidwest.com

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

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