MERCERVILLE, Ohio — The Lady Tornadoes first relied on their ‘Faith’ to weather the South Gallia storm.
Then, Josie Cundiff picked up from there.
That’s because Southern senior Faith Teaford tallied 15 first-half points, and her Tornado teammate Cundiff canned all 14 of her markers in the second half, as the visiting Tornadoes defeated the Lady Rebels 45-35 on Thursday night —in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division girls basketball tilt.
Southern led for the final 22 minutes and 17 seconds, as Teaford —who scored all six of Southern’s first-quarter points —put the Tornadoes in front for good with a pair of second-period free throws.
The Lady Tornadoes outscored the Lady Rebels 18-11 in the second quarter, then took the final two periods by two points apiece (12-10 in third and 9-7 in fourth).
Teaford —the six-foot, one-inch senior center — totaled eight baskets and 3-of-4 free throws for a game-high 19 points.
She scored three field goals in each of the opening two periods, along with the three foul shots for the early 15.
Cundiff, on four three-pointers and a fourth-quarter two, helped the Purple and Gold get the margin to double figures for the final 7:33.
With the win, Southern —which traveled to Trimble on Saturday (Feb. 11) for a TVC-Hocking makeup matchup —improved to 11-9, and 8-7 in the league.
The loss ended South Gallia’s regular season — at 4-18 and 2-14 in the division.
Southern swept the Lady Rebels, which defeated Wahama for their only league wins.
The Red and Gold, however, did pose an early threat to the Tornadoes on Thursday.
The Lady Rebels erased an early 4-0 deficit, scoring seven of the last nine first-frame counters to lead 7-6 after one.
South Gallia gained a 10-6 advantage only 15 seconds into the second stanza — on an Erin Evans three-pointer — but the Rebels endured a two-and-a-half minute scoring drought, as Southern scored eight unanswered to lead 14-10.
South Gallia got to within 16-14 on an Evans free throw, but the Tornadoes doubled up the Rebels 8-4 over the final 3:07.
Macie Michael made a three-pointer, Teaford had a rebound putback, and finally Teaford tacked on an old-fashioned three-point play to make it 24-16 with 1:48 before halftime.
In the third quarter, three of Cundiff’s three-balls ballooned the lead to 36-23, as Baylee Wolfe tossed in one as well.
The Rebels got no closer than 30-23 with 2:40 to play in the period, as their 36-28 deficit was stretched to double figures for the remainder of the night — thanks to Cundiff’s fourth and final three.
Southern held an 18-13 advantage in total field goals, including a crucial 6-2 edge in treys.
Wolfe, with two second-quarter deuces, wound up with seven points — as Sierra Cleland’s bucket at the 5:05 mark made it 16-12.
Only four Lady Rebels reached the scoring column, paced by Evans with 11 points on two twos and two threes.
Olivia Hornsby, on four field goals and a second-quarter foul shot, and Amaya Howell —on three field goals and 3-of-4 freebies —netted nine points.
Aaliyah Howell had six points on two fourth-quarter field goals and 2-of-6 foul shots.
The contest also marked Senior Night activities at South Gallia High School, as seniors Amelie Spitze and Irene Santos — —both foreign-exchange students —were recognized.
The Lady Rebels will now play Miller in the Division IV sectional tournament on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 6:15 p.m. at Meigs High School.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106