Report by Chris Vines
It was a rare varsity conference doubleheader for the Southerners as they traveled to Trumann for the season finale and came home with two double-digit wins to secure a home district playoff game next week.
The Lady Southerners opened the night with a 48-32 win behind a strong defense that picked up an offense that struggled in the first half of the game.
The opening quarter saw both teams struggle to score points as the Southerners managed two field goals, yet only trailed 10-7.
Finding their rhythm midway thru the second quarter, the Southerners managed to take a two-point lead into the break 17-15.
The pace quickened, and the shots started to fall in the second half and the Southerners started to pull away. Trumann forced the Southerners to the line 18 times in the final quarter, in hopes that Southerners’ misses would fuel a comeback, but the Lady Southerners made 13 of the 18 and pulled away winning 48-32.
Olivia Allen had 17 points, including nine of nine from the free-throw line. Brett Gardner and Kamie Jenkins added 10 and Callie Robbins pitched in nine points.
The Lady Southerners need one win to make the regional tournament and will play the winner of the Highland/Trumann game.
In the nightcap, the senior boys took the lead in the first quarter and led by as many as 11 before ending the night with a 65-55 win and head into the district tournament as the number-three seed.
The Southerners outscored the Wildcats in every quarter, leading 13-11 at the end of the first quarter and 30-27 at the half.
In the third quarter, Devan Halford exploded for 13 of his game 25 points to help the Southerners maintain a 47-43 lead heading into the final period.
Trevor Longo scored eight of his 16 points in the final quarter to put the game away for Southside.
Halford led all scorers with 25 points, Longo had 16, Blayne Bufford added 13, Jake Painter had five points and Jonathan Shane had six points.
The District tournament brackets will be released Wednesday, both Southerner teams will play the first round at home, and with a win will qualify for the regionals held in Blytheville’s new basketball arena.