Report by Big Daddy Randy Alan & Chris Vines/Photo by Deerick Smith
In front of a sold-out, standing room only crowd the top-ranked Batesville Lady Pioneers and the sixth-ranked Lady Southerners had another epic battle Tuesday on Senior Night at Southside, with the Southerners coming out on top 60-51 gaining a share of the conference championship and getting the number one seed in the district tournament next week at Southside.
The first quarter went to the Southerners as they jumped out to a 15-9 lead by hitting four, three-pointers and Izzy Higginbottom scored all nine points for Batesville.
London Cuzzort scored eight in the second quarter as the Southerners went into halftime with a 32-23 lead.
The Pioneers rallied in the third quarter behind Highinbottom’s 10 points to cut the lead to three, 41-38.
Reese Gardner caught fire in the fourth quarter scoring 10 of her 19 in the final quarter as the Southerners hit five of six free throws down the stretch to seal the win for the Southerners, now 21-4 overall and 13-1 in conference play.
Both teams shot 10 free throws on the night with the Southerners hitting eight and the Pioners making five.
London Cuzzort led the Southerners with 23 points, Reese Gardner had 19 and Olivia Allen had 8.
Izzy Higginbottom had 25 for the Pioneers, with Taylor Rush and Caylee Clark chipping in nine.
The Southerners had 35 rebounds on the night limiting the Pioneer offense to one shot on most possessions.
In the nightcap, it was all Batesville from the start.
Senior Dawson McMahan had 13 points at the intermission and ended the game with 16.
His early scoring was the catalyst for a big road win to end the regular season for Batesville as they defeated the Southerners 52-30.
Senior Caleb Anderson Poured in 19 points with five steals and Junior J.P. Morgan chipped in 10 points with five rebounds.
Batesville ends the regular season 16-10 overall and 5-9 in conference play.
The Pioneers now set their sights on the 4A-3 Conference Tournament next week back at Southside as the number five seed and will play in the first round on Monday to start the tournament at 4 p.m.