HEMLOCK, Ohio — Connect four.
The Southern boys basketball team stretched its winning streak to a season-best four games on Tuesday night in Perry County, defeating Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division host Miller by a 61-48 count.
Southern (10-5, 8-3 TVC Hocking) and Miller (9-6, 7-4) — who entered the night tied for third in the league standings — were tied at 17 after eight minutes of play.
Sparked by seven field goals, the Tornadoes broke free in the second quarter with an 18-to-4 run, making the SHS lead 35-21 at halftime.
The Falcons got two points back in the third quarter, as they outscored Southern 16-to-14 to make the margin 49-37 with eight minutes to play.
The Purple and Gold closed the 61-48 victory by outscoring MHS 12-to-11 in the fourth quarter.
The Tornadoes shot 22-of-46 (47.8 percent) from the field, including 4-of-12 (33.3 percent) from three-point range, while the Falcons were 18-of-60 (30 percent) from the field, including 5-of-26 (19.2 percent) from deep.
At the free throw line, Southern shot 13-of-23 (56.5 percent) and Miller shot 7-of-11 (63.6 percent).
The hosts won the rebounding battle by a 31-29 clip, including 18-to-10 on the offensive end. SHS held advantages of 15-to-9 in assists and 12-to-3 in steals, while winning the turnover battle by a narrow 15-to-14 tally.
The Tornadoes were led by juniors Weston Thorla and Bradyen Cunningham with 19 and 18 points respectively, with Cunningham pulling in a team-best nine rebounds.
Dylan Smith recorded 10 points and a team-high five assists, while Trey McNickle and Jensen Anderson had six points apiece, with Anderson hitting a team-best two trifectas. Coltin Parker rounded out the Tornado total with two points in the win.
Smith and McNickle led the SHS defense with four steals apiece, followed by Austin Baker with three.
Alec Eveland led Miller with 14 points, followed by Carson Starlin with 12 and Colby Bartley with 10. Seattle Compston had six points in the setback, while Blayton Cox finished with three.
Southern also defeated Miller the first time these teams met, winning 72-66 on Dec. 19 in Racine.
The Purple and Gold are back in action on Friday at Waterford.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.
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