WELLSTON, Ohio — Starting the postseason in style.
The 14th-seeded Southern girls basketball team claimed its second-largest victory of the year in its tournament opener, defeating 19th-seeded Sciotoville East 47-21 in the Division IV sectional semifinal on Monday at Wellston High School.
Southern (5-18) — winning in the postseason for the first time since 2017 — was up by double digits eight minutes into play, starting the night with a 13-to-3 run.
The Lady Tornado defense held East to a single field goal in each of the first two periods, and the Purple and Gold took a 23-5 lead into halftime after a 10-to-2 second quarter.
SHS added two points to its lead in the third period, outscoring the Lady Tartans 10-to-8 to make the margin 33-13 headed into the fourth.
Southern capped off its 47-21 win with a 14-to-8 spurt, hitting seven field goals in the finale.
For the game, SHS made 10-of-14 (71.4 percent) free throws, to go with 17 two-pointers and one triple. Meanwhile, East made eight field goals — all from inside the arc — and shot 5-of-9 (55.6 percent) from the foul line.
Kayla Evans claimed the Lady Tornadoes’ lone three-pointer and led all-scorers with 16 points. Phoenix Cleland was next with 13 points, followed by Jordan Hardwick with eight. Kelly Shaver and Shelby Cleland had four points apiece for the victors, while Baylee Wolfe tallied two.
Grace Smith led East with a dozen points, all of which came after halftime. Felicia Smith scored four points for the Lady Tartans, Mia Caldwell added three, and Peyton Johnson ended with two.
The Purple and Gold will be back at WHS at 2:45 on Saturday against third-seeded Trimble, this season’s Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division champion.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.