RACINE, Ohio — The key is to be playing your best at the end of the year.
For the first team this season the Southern boys basketball team has won back-to-back games, as the Tornadoes finished their regular season with a 55-48 victory over Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division guest Miller, on Saturday night in Racine.
The Tornadoes (5-17, 5-11 TVC Hocking) allowed just two field goals over the opening eight minutes and led 10-4 by the end of the first canto. The Falcons (9-12, 4-12) found their offense in the second period, outscoring Southern by a 19-13 clip to tie the game at 23 headed into the break.
Southern went on a 20-to-9 third quarter run and led 43-32 with eight minutes remaining in regulation. The Tornadoes made just 6-of-17 free throws in the final period, but paired it with three made field goals to seal the 55-48 win.
SHS junior Trey Pickens led the Purple and Gold with 17 points, followed by fellow junior Blake Johnson with 12. Tylar Blevins scored nine points, Crenson Rogers added eight, while Dylan Smith and Jonah Hoback rounded out the SHS scoring with six and three points respectively.
For the game, Southern shot 14-of-28 from the free throw line, equaling 50 percent.
Seattle Compston led the guests with 19 points, followed by Garrett Bartley with 10 and Carson Starlin with eight. Cole Geil scored four points, Dalton Hall added three, while Alec Eveland and Austin Knippa rounded out the MHS scoring with two points each.
Miller also shot 50 percent from the charity stripe, making 10-of-20 throws.
Southern also defeated the Falcons on January 8, by a 55-50 count in Perry County.
The Tornadoes return to action in the Division IV sectional semifinal on Wednesday at Meigs High School, where they will take on archrival Eastern. SHS is 1-1 against the Eagles this season, with a 54-44 setback in Racine on January 12, and a 53-45 win at EHS on February 12.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.