RACINE, Ohio — The Lady Tornadoes’ first half performance was quite impressive, the encore wasn’t bad either.
The Southern girls basketball team led by 21 points at halftime of Monday night’s Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division tilt in Meigs County. The Purple and Gold then outscored visiting Federal Hocking by 19 points in the second half, to cap off the 65-25 victory.
The Lady Tornadoes (7-2, 6-1 TVC Hocking) charged out to a 17-6 lead trough eight minutes after only allowing Federal Hocking (1-8, 1-6) to sink two field goals in the first period. Southern outscored the guests 19-to-9 in the second quarter, pushing the lead to 36-15 at the break. In the first half, the Purple and Gold connected on six trifectas and were led in scoring by junior Faith Teaford with 18 points, and Ali Deem with 11.
“We really executed about every way in the first half,” second-year SHS head coach Kent Wolfe said. “When they went zone we were able to hit the threes, and then when they went man we were able to isolate it in the post. We got some real good looks in the post. That’s probably the best first half we’ve played so far this year.”
After the break the SHS offense cooled off, not scoring for four minutes as Federal Hocking cut the deficit to 36-19, which forced the Purple and Gold to regroup with a timeout.
“When your up 21 at halftime the kids tend to be laid back,” Coach Wolfe said of the slow start to the second half. “I want them to continue to execute, even if we’re up big. We’re going to go into hostile environments and we’re going to have to be able to play 32 minutes.”
Southern finished the third quarter with a 16-0 run that expanded the lead to 52-19. The Lady Lancers were held off the scoreboard for over three minutes to start the fourth quarter, and the Purple and Gold increased their lead to 59-19. Federal Hocking did not sink a fourth quarter field goal until the 1:24 mark, minutes after SHS had pulled its starting five from the game. SHS sank 7-of-8 free throws over the final eight minutes and claimed the 65-25 victory.
Teaford led the Lady Tornadoes with 32 points, followed by Deem with 13 and Haley Hill with 12. Jansen Wolfe — who marked team-highs in rebounds with 12, and assists with six — scored four points in the win, while Josie Cundiff and Jaiden Roberts each had two points. Hill led the Purple and Gold defensively with six steals.
The Lady Tornadoes made 9-of-11 (81.8 percent) free throw attempts and 25-of-53 (47.2 percent) tries from the field, including 6-of-11 (54.5 percent) attempts from beyond the arc. As a team SHS had 38 rebounds, 18 assists, 18 steals and 15 turnovers.
The Lady Lancers were led by Destiny Tabler with seven points, followed by Jordan Gillian with six and Miranda Scott with four. Audrey Blake, Faith Bennett-Wolfe, Chelsea Washburn and Skylar Hatfield each finished with two points in the setback. Federal Hocking shot 6-of-12 (50 percent) from the free throw line, while finishing with 21 rebounds and 30 turnovers.
The Lady Tornadoes will try to sweep FHHS on February 1, in Stewart. Southern will have the rest of the week off before hosting Williamstown on Monday and Meigs on Wednesday.
“Now we’ve got a few days before we play again,” Coach Wolfe said. “We played three games in five days and came out 2-1. We just have to keep building and growing from there, but we’ve got a tough week next week.”
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.