MERCERVILLE, Ohio — The only ones not surprised where the boys in purple.
The Southern boys basketball team upset the South Gallia Rebels on the road 61-32 Tuesday evening in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup.
Tuesday’s ballgame got off to a slow start, with only the Rebels (7-9, 4-6 TVC Hocking) scoring a basket in the first couple of minutes.
The Tornadoes (7-14, 2-8) took control of the first quarter with a 9-2 scoring run through the first five minutes of the game.
The Red and Gold found the basket once more with under a minute to go in the first, but went into the second quarter under a 11-4 deficit.
The Purple and Gold kept their high-pressure defense going into the second quarter and the Rebels couldn’t find an answer for it.
On the other end of the court, the offensive momentum continued to mount for the visiting team.
The Tornadoes were lights-out with 3-pointers in the second quarter, scoring four in the first four minutes.
Although Southern didn’t score anymore from the arch for the remainder of the half, they still put up points on the board to outscore the home team 24-8, giving them a lot to celebrate about as they went into halftime with a 35-12 lead.
The offensive woes continued for the Rebels into the second half.
Through the third quarter, the Purple and Gold slowly built up their lead, capping out at 31 points heading into the final quarter.
Down 54-23 at the fourth quarter, time was not on South Gallia’s side.
Ultimately, the Tornadoes scored the final six points of Tuesday’s game to complete the upset.
In shot totals, Southern led in both 3-pointers and field goals with tallies of 9-2 and 15-11, respectively.
The two squads were tied in free throws with four each.
Leading the Tornadoes in scoring was senior Cade Anderson, who recorded three 3-pointers and four field goals for a total of 17 points.
Behind him was fellow senior Lincoln Rose, who had six field goals and two free throws for 14 points.
Rounding out the Southern scoring were Aiden Hill with nine points, Brayden Otto with six points, Cruz Brinager with five points, Damien Miller with five points, Derek Griffith with three points and Issac McCarty with two points.
Leading the Rebels was sophomore Tanner Boothe, who got three field goals and two free throws for eight points.
Second for the Red and Gold was tied, with seniors Blaike Saunders and Brayden Hammond both having six points.
Saunders had two 3-pointers and Hammond had three field goals.
Rounding out the South Gallia scoring were Ean Combs with four points, Noah Cremeens with three points, Brycen Stanley with three points and Kyeler Rossitter with two points.
In rebounds, the Purple and Gold had 14 offensive and 17 defensive for a total of 31 and were led by Anderson with eight.
The Red and Gold had nine offensive boards and 12 defensive for a total of 21 and were led by Hammond with six.
The Tornadoes will be back on the court at 6 p.m. Friday when they host the Eastern Eagles.
The Rebels will be back in action at 7 p.m. Friday when they hit the road to take on the Belpre Golden Eagles.
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Colton Jeffries can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.