RACINE, Ohio — They fought so hard to get the lead, they had nothing left to hold onto it with.
The Southern girls basketball team took its first lead in Monday’s non-conference game with five straight points to start the second half. However, visiting Wellston took the lead back less than two minutes later and never trailed again on its way to the 55-44 victory.
The Lady Tornadoes (0-5) tied the game three times in the opening quarter, with the Lady Rockets holding an 18-to-16 edge at the end of the stanza.
After Wellston scored the first six points of the second period, the hosts went on an 8-to-4 run, cutting the WHS lead to 28-24 at halftime.
A Kass Chaney three-pointer followed by a Kayla Evans two-pointer gave the Lady Tornadoes a 29-28 lead 1:30 into the third quarter.
However, Daycee Clemons got the lead back for Wellston with a three-pointer with 4:46 left in the third. Southern tied it at 31, but Clemons drained another triple with 3:30 left in the quarter, establishing the WHS lead for good.
Wellston was ahead 38-33 by the end of the third quarter, and started the fourth with a 16-to-3 run for the largest lead of the night, at 54-36. Southern scored eight of the final nine points in the contest and fell 55-44.
The Lady Tornadoes won the rebounding battle by a 43-to-35 clip, despite the Lady Rockets earning an 18-to-17 edge in offensive boards. SHS committed 21 turnovers, six more than Wellston. The Purple and Gold collected 11 assists, nine steals and a pair of blocked shots, while WHS had 14 assists, 11 steals and five rejections.
Southern made 15-of-53 (28.3 percent) field goal attempts, including 3-of-15 (20 percent) three-point tries, while Wellston was 20-of-60 (33.3 percent) from the field, including 7-of-18 (38.9 percent) from deep. At the foul line, SHS shot 11-of-21 (52.4 percent), while WHS hit 8-of-23 (34.8 percent).
Kayla Evans led the Lady Tornadoes with a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds, to go with team-highs of six assists and three steals. Chaney also recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, hitting a team-best two triples. Kelly Shaver scored eight for the hosts, while Lila Cooper and Lily Allen had three points each, with Cooper also pulling in 11 rebounds.
Clemons paced the guests with 23 points, 18 of which came from beyond the arc. Lauren Cheatham had a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds in the win, Jenna Johnston added seven points and eight rebounds, while Jayla Sawyer scored three points. Maddie Potts and Makenna Kilgour rounded out the WHS scoring with two points and one point respectively. Kilgour earned a game-best eight assists, Clemons had a team-high three steals, while Cheatham had a game-high two blocked shots.
These teams are scheduled to meet again on Jan. 23 in Jackson County.
Southern will be back on its home court on Wednesday against South Gallia.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.