RACINE, Ohio — When it mattered the most, the Marauder defense played its best.
The Southern boys basketball team cut Meigs’ lead to six points with five minutes to play in Tuesday’s non-league contest, but the Marauders allowed the host Tornadoes to score just two more points, sealing a 50-43 victory.
Southern (0-6) scored the opening bucket of the game, but the Marauders (2-6) took the lead on a Braylon Harrison three-pointer 32 seconds into play and never trailed again.
The Tornadoes tied it at 14 with 26 seconds left in the first period, but an Andrew Dodson three-pointer gave the Marauders a 17-14 lead at the end of the stanza.
SHS was within a point twice in the second period — at 17-16 and 20-19 — but Meigs closed the half with an 8-to-2 run for a 28-21 lead at the break.
The Maroon and Gold were up by double digits after an 10-to-7 start to the second half, but Southern scored six of the final 10 points of the third and headed into the finale down 41-33.
In the first three minutes of the fourth quarter, Meigs hit a trio of field goals, while Southern sank four, making the Marauder lead 47-41 with 5:02 remaining.
Neither team scored again until an Arrow Drummer two-pointer got SHS to within four points with 28 seconds to play. However, Meigs answered with a two-pointer, and then hit a free throw to cap off the 50-43 victory.
The Marauders won the rebounding battle by a 44-to-31 clip, including 17-to-8 on the offensive end. MHS committed 13 turnovers, while SHS gave the ball away 14 times. The Maroon and Gold collected 13 assists, seven steals and three blocked shots in the win, while the Tornadoes combined for 14 assists, nine steals, and three blocks.
The Marauders made 21-of-61 (34.4 percent) field goal attempts, including 6-of-23 (26.1 percent) from three-point range, while Southern sank 19-of-51 (37.3 percent) field goal attempts, including 2-of-19 (10.5 percent) three-point tries. At the foul line, Meigs made 2-of-7 (28.6 percent) and SHS hit 3-of-11 (27.3 percent).
Coulter Cleland led Meigs with a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds, to go with game-highs of six assists and two rejections. Harrison recorded seven points and two steals for the guests, while Wyatt Hoover chipped in with six points, 10 rebounds and two steals. Dodson was next with five points, followed by Brayden Stanley and Morgan Roberts with four each. Caleb Burnem rounded out the Marauder scoring with two points.
Leading the Tornadoes, Drummer posted a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds. Cade Anderson scored 10 for the hosts, Lincoln Rose added nine, while Ryan Laudermilt recorded four points, nine rebounds and five assists. Cruz Brinager and Chase Bailey scored two points apiece for the hosts, while Isaac McCarty came up with a team-best three steals.
Both teams resume play in their respective leagues on the first Tuesday of 2021, when Meigs hosts Nelsonville-York, and the Southern visiting South Gallia.
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Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.