Report by Chris Vines
For the first time since the 2008 season both Southside Southerners’ basketball teams are headed to the Regional tournament after posting wins in the quarterfinals of the district tournament at home Tuesday night.
The Lady Southerners opened the game with an 18-0 run against the Highland Lady Rebels and never looked back, winning 43-17.
Brett Gardner scored 11 points in the run, and Olivia Allen handed out four assists, in the opening quarter, removing any doubt the snow forced layoff would leave the Lady Southerners rusty.
The Lady Southerners’ defense was nearly as stout as their offense allowing only five, first-half points on one field goal and giving up only six field goals in the entire game.
Brett Gardner scored 23 points and Olivia Allen added nine points as the Southerners advance to take on Valley View Thursday night at 6 p.m. in the district semi-finals at Valley View.
It’s the second straight regional appearance for Coach Jordan Riley and the Lady Southerners.
It took overtime but the Southerners’ Senior Boys finally put away the Trumann Wildcats 50-44, also qualifying for regionals and advancing to the district semi-finals against the Brookland Bearcats Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in Brookland.
It was back and forth game all night, with neither team ever leading by more than six points.
The score wasn’t indicative of the pace, as both teams ran up and down the floor the entire game, but struggled at times to get shots to fall.
Southerners trailed 10-7 at the end of the first quarter but led 19-18 at the break.
Devan Halford had five of his game-high 22 points in the overtime period, to put the game away for the Southerners.
Trevor Longo added 13 and Jonathan Shane had eight points as the Southerners picked up their 16th win of the season.