By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent
A solid defensive performance sparked Southside to a 38-23 win over Class 4A No. 8 Hokes Bluff last Friday (Dec. 21) at HBHS.
According to Panther head coach Kevin Troup, the Panthers’ plan was to limit the scoring opportunities for the Eagles’ 7-2” junior center Isaac Haas.
“We knew we had to work on controlling the game’s tempo, and we had to limit Isaac’s possessions and hopefully keep him out of the game. “Patrick Lister did a great job defending him and getting him in foul trouble. We played well on defense, and defense wins championships.”
Southside (7-2) held an 11-2 lead after one period of play and 18-6 at halftime. Haas picked up three quick fouls to limit his court time in the first half and did not score in the first 16 minutes.
Haas finally scored in the third quarter when he converting a 3-point play, but he picked up his fourth foul and a technical foul four minutes later and watched the rest of the game from the bench.
Southside held a 26-12 lead after three quarters and outscored the Eagles (8-3) 12-11 in the fourth.
Chris Leonhardt led the Panthers with 24 points, including an 80 percent (8-for-10) effort at the free throw line.
Saige Benson grabbed eight rebounds, while Drew Mullinax handed out four assists.
Tanner Shields led Hokes Bluff with five points.