Report by Chris Vines
A career night from Trevor Longo propelled the number-three seed Southside Southerners to a 55-52 overtime win over the number-two seeded Pulaski Academy Bruins in the 4A East Regional Tournament in Blytheville Thursday night.
With the win, the Southerners move on to a semi-final date with the top-seeded Blytheville Chickasaws and qualified for the 4A State Tournament next week in Morrilton.
The game was a back and forth affair with neither team leading by more than eight the entire night.
The Southerners ended the first quarter on a 7-0 run, after a taunting technical on the Bruins, and ended the quarter with the lead at 13-8.
Pulaski Academy went on a 10-0 run to start the second quarter and out scored 21-11 during the period, to take a 29-24 halftime lead.
Trevor Longo came out on fire after the break scoring nine points in the third quarter and cutting the lead to three points as the game went into the final quarter.
Longo would continue to be on fire scoring nine of the Southerners 11 points as the teams traded leads throughout the quarter, with both teams getting a shot to win in the final quarter before time expired with the score tied at 48-48.
The overtime period was much of the same with both teams gaining the lead, Longo hit another big three-pointer to give the Southerners the lead before Devan Halford hit two huge free throws to give the Southerners a 55-52 lead with 3.5 seconds left.
The Bruins’ desperation shot at the buzzer would fall short at the buzzer and end their season with Southerners advancing to the state tournament.
Devan Halford led all scorers with 24 points (including a perfect 16-16 from the free-throw line), Trevor Longo had a career-high 21 points (all in the second half), hitting six three-pointers, Jonathan Shane added six points.
The Southerners move on the semifinal round of regionals to face the tournament host Blytheville Chickasaws at 7 p.m. Friday on 99.5 YourFM.