NELSONVILLE, Ohio — An unfortunate case of déjà vu.
For the second straight Friday, the Southern boys basketball team dropped a four-point decision after being tied in the final minute of the game, this time falling to non-conference host Nelsonville-York by a 53-49 count in Athens County.
The Tornadoes (5-4) — who’ve now been on the wrong end of three straight decisions — dug themselves into a hole in the opening quarter, trailing 14-2 at the conclusion of the period.
Southern rebounded with a 16-to-9 second quarter run, and Nelsonville-York (4-3) had its lead cut to 23-18 by halftime.
SHS knocked two more points off of its deficit in the third quarter, outscoring the Buckeyes by a 17-to-15 clip and trimming the NYHS lead to 38-35 with eight minutes to play.
The Purple and Gold began the fourth quarter with a 8-to-3 run and led 43-41 with 5:22 to play. Nelsonville-York claimed the next four points, however, and never trailed again.
Southern tied the game three times over the remainder of the game, with the Buckeyes establishing the lead for good with just 23 seconds to play. The Orange and Brown hit a pair of free throws after that, capping off the 53-49 win, their second straight triumph.
The Tornadoes shot 22-of-54 (40.7 percent) from the field, including just 1-of-14 (7.1 percent) from three-point territory. The Buckeyes were 22-of-48 (45.8 percent) from the field, including 1-of-7 (14.2 percent) from deep. Both teams attempted a dozen free throws, NYHS making eight (66.7 percent) and SHS sinking four (33.3 percent).
The hosts won the rebounding battle by a 44-23 count, while also earning advantages of 10-to-5 in assists and 4-to-2 in blocked shots. Southern picked up an 11-to-8 steals advantage and committed 16 turnovers, 10 fewer than NYHS.
SHS senior Dylan Smith led the guests with 14 points and a team-best three steals, while Trey McNickle was responsible for Southern’s only triple and finished with 13 points. Brayden Cunningham and Weston Thorla scored nine points apiece, with Cunningham grabbing a team-best nine rebounds.
Coltin Parker and Jensen Anderson rounded out the Tornado scoring with two points apiece.
Reece Robson led the victors with a double-double effort of 12 points and 12 rebounds. Jonathan Richards made the team’s lone trifecta and finished with 11 points, while Ethan Bohyer, Mikey Seel and Justin Perry scored seven points apiece. Brayden Allen contributed five points to the winning cause, while Chris Beyette added four.
These teams won’t meet again this season, but the Tornadoes will finish with a 2-1 record against Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division opponents.
Southern gets back to work in the TVC Hocking Division on Friday when it visits Eastern.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.