RACINE, Ohio — What a difference two weeks can make.
The Southern boys basketball team — which dropped a 66-48 decision at Belpre on Jan. 4 — defeated those same Golden Eagles by a 69-57 in Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division action on Friday in Meigs County.
Southern (6-6, 5-4 TVC Hocking) — winner of three straight — trailed by a narrow 11-9 deficit eight minutes into play, but unleashed a 23-point storm in the second quarter and headed into halftime with a 32-29 lead.
In the third quarter, the Tornadoes outscored Belpre (6-9, 5-4) by a 16-to-11 clip, making the the margin 48-40 with eight minutes to play.
The guests tallied 17 points in the finale, but Southern sealed the 69-57 victory with 21 points, including a 10-of-16 performance from the free throw line.
For the game, Southern made 19-of-30 (63.3 percent) foul shots, while Belpre was 15-of-23 (65.2 percent) from the stripe. The Tornadoes made 23-of-57 (40.4 percent) field goal attempts, including 4-of-19 (21.1 percent) three-point tries. Meanwhile, BHS was 19-of-51 (37.3 percent) from the field, including 4-of-16 (25 percent) from deep.
The Golden Eagles outrebounded SHS by a 34-to-29 clip, including 14-to-10 on the offensive end, but Belpre committed 15 turnovers, five more than the Tornadoes. SHS finished with team totals of 15 assists, 11 steals and two rejections.
SHS senior Brayden Cunningham led the Tornadoes with 20 points, featuring a pair of triples, six two-pointers, and a 2-of-2 day at the free throw line. Next was Jensen Anderson with 16 points, followed by Austin Baker with 10, Arrow Drummer with eight and Cole Steele with six.
SHS junior Trey McNickle scored four points, while recording a double-double of 12 assists and 10 rebounds, both team-highs. Weston Thorla and Chase Bailey rounded out the winning tally with three and two points respectively.
McNickle led the SHS defense with five steals, followed by Cunningham with three steals and a block.
Connor Baker and Jerimiah Stitt led the Golden Eagles with 15 points apiece, followed by Nick Godfrey with 11. Logan Adams scored eight for the guests, Eric Dotson added five, while Jordan Harrington came up with three.
After a trip to North Adams on Saturday, Southern will get back to work in the TVC Hocking at Waterford on Tuesday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.