RACINE, Ohio — The wrong time for a cold spell.
The Southern boys basketball team sank its final field goal of Tuesday’s Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division bout in Meigs County with 4:40 left in regulation, leaving guest Belpre to finish the game with a 6-to-1 run for a 66-63 victory.
Southern (4-7, 3-3 TVC Hocking) started the game with a 7-to-1 run, but Belpre (7-4, 5-2) took its first lead at 18-16, and was ahead 25-18 by the end of the first quarter.
SHS — which shot over 65 percent from the field in the first half — was back in front after a 13-to-1 spurt to start the second period, and stretched its lead to 39-31 by halftime.
The Golden Eagles got the lead back with 1:16 left in the third quarter, and after two more lead changes, the guests took a 53-52 lead into the finale.
The Tornadoes tied the game at 55, before regaining the edge at 62-60 on an old-fashioned three-pointer by Trey McNickle with 4:40 remaining. Belpre tied the game at 62 and then took the lead for good on a two-pointer by Logan Adams with 2:55 left.
A Landen Hill free throw brought the Tornadoes to within one point with 14 seconds remaining, but a pair of free throws by P.J. Alder gave the Golden Eagles a three-point edge with 13 seconds to go. Southern fired a pair of three-point attempts in the final 13 seconds, but neither found the mark, leaving Belpre with a 66-63 victory.
SHS won the rebounding battle by a 30-to-28 clip, despite the Orange and Black taking a 15-to-11 edge in offensive boards. The hosts committed 16 turnovers, 10 of which came after halftime, while BHS ended with 12 turnovers, split evenly between the first and second halves.
As a team, the Tornadoes collected 15 assists, seven blocked shots and six steals. Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles combined for 13 assists and 10 steals.
For the game, Southern shot 25-of-52 (48.1 percent) from the field, including 4-of-11 (36.4 percent) from deep, while the guests made 24-of-58 (41.4 percent) field goal attempts, including 7-of-21 (33.3 percent) three-point tries. From the free throw line, SHS was 9-of-12 (75 percent) and BHS was 11-of-16 (68.8 percent).
A trio of Tornadoes scored in double figures, led by Cole Steele with 20 points, featuring all-4 of the team’s trifectas, to go with six rebounds. Arrow Drummer posted 15 points and a team-best eight rebounds in the setback, McNickle added 11 points, six boards and a team-high five assists.
Hill scored eight points for the Purple and Gold, Coltin Parker chipped in with five, while Chase Bailey and Ryan Laudermilt ended with two apiece.
Leading the hosts on defense, McNickle had three steals and two blocks, Steele claimed two steals and one block, while Drummer earned three rejections.
Adams and Connor Baker scored 17 points apiece to lead Belpre, with Adams grabbing six boards and Baker picking up five assists. Makiah Merritt finished with a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds, to go with a game-best four steals for Belpre. Evan Wells tallied 12 points in the win, while Alder and Nick Godfrey scored three each.
The rematch between the Tornadoes and Golden Eagles is slated for Feb 4 in Washington County.
Next for SHS, Miller invades Racine on Friday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.