ROCKSPRINGS, Ohio — Simply put, the Purple and Gold had Green seeing red.
That’s because the Southern Lady Tornadoes, by leading for the game’s final 28 minutes, crushed the Lady Bobcats 66-28 on Wednesday night in a Division IV girls basketball sectional semifinal at Meigs High School’s Larry R. Morrison Gymnasium.
The Lady Tornadoes, over the final four minutes of the opening quarter, outscored Green 13-2 to stake a double-digit advantage that remained that way for the rest of the night.
Southern led 17-7 following the first quarter and 30-17 at halftime — thanks to a buzzer-beating basket by Faith Teaford.
In the third period, the Tornadoes erupted for a 19-4 advantage — opening up a 49-22 bulge with a Lauren Lavender three-pointer.
The Bobcats’ only markers in the stanza were a pair of Leslie Gallion buckets — and they came exactly five minutes and 20 seconds apart.
Finally, the Tornadoes had a bookend 17-7 fourth frame — which was punctuated for the 66-28 final on a basket by Shelbi Bailey.
The final tally was the Lady Tornadoes’ largest lead of the entire game.
With the win, Southern — the sixth-seeded squad in the Meigs sectional — raised its record to 12-10.
More importantly, the Tornadoes return to Meigs High School on Saturday for the sectional championship — and a date with third-seeded Belpre.
It will be the third meeting this season between the two clubs — as both are members of the Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division.
Tipoff time is set for Saturday at 2:45 p.m.
The Lady Bobcats ended their season at 1-22, and said goodbye to their lone senior Kaylynn Blizzard.
The Tornadoes seized control of the contest on a Jaiden Roberts three-pointer at the 2:55 mark of the first quarter to make it 9-5.
Sierra Cleland then collected a pair of field goals in the spree, as Roberts and Macie Michael mustered a two-pointer apiece for the 17-7 lead after one.
Teaford’s free throws gave Southern the lead for good at 6-5, as it was the fourth and final lead change.
Megan Johnson, with a three and a two, gave Green its only edges at 3-2 and 5-4 — but its only other points of the initial canto were a Gallion goal at the 1:05 mark.
That made it 13-7, and the Lady Bobcats got no closer the rest of the way.
With the exception of one player, every single Lady Tornado registered in the scoring column.
Teaford, on eight field goals and 4-of-8 free throws, tallied 20 points to pace Southern and all scorers.
Lavender landed nine points on four field goals, along with six points apiece from Michael, Cleland and Phoenix Cleland.
Michael and Sierra Cleland canned three buckets apiece, while Phoenix Cleland converted two baskets and 2-of-2 foul shots.
Roberts and Josie Cundiff connected for a deuce and a trey, as Ashley Acree with a fourth-quarter three — along with field goals from Paige VanMeter and Baylee Wolfe — rounded out the Southern scoring.
The Lady Bobcats only sported eight players, and only three scored.
Gallion led the way with 11 — on four field goals and 3-of-6 free throws.
Johnson netted nine and Blizzard added eight for Green.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106
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