Southside High’s Gavin Orr (50) goes up for a layup as Sardis’ Braxton Brooks (00) defends during the Panthers’ 57-22 win on Friday (Jan. 19) in the Etowah County boys high school basketball tournament semifinals at Hokes Bluff. (Gary Wells)
By Cole Frederick/Sports Correspondent
Southside breezed into the championship game of the Etowah County boys high school basketball tournament with a resounding 57-22 win over Sardis on Friday (Jan. 19) at Hokes Bluff.
The Lions were competitive in the early stages of the game and trailed 15-7 after the opening period. But the Panthers went on a 16-0 run in the second quarter to pull away for a 37-13 halftime advantage.
Southside connected on five 3-pointers in the first half as Devin Laster and Tristan Riggan buried two each, and the Lions struggled to contain Gavin Orr in the post.
The Panthers extended their run in the third quarter and carried a 48-15 lead into the final frame.
Laster and Orr each scored 11 points for the game, while Riggan scored 10. Chase Bright led Sardis with five points.
Southside head coach Chad Holderfield said he was proud of how locked in his team was entering the game and how all 11 players on the roster were able to play and contribute.
“I felt like our guys were really focused,” Holderfield said. “I felt like they were really ready to play. All 11 of them were bought into playing the right way and doing the right things. It really showed on both ends of the floor. We defended well, and I was really proud of how we moved the basketball and shared the ball.
“We had a lot of guys that made shots, and that was a testament of the guys being willing to share the ball and move the ball and try to get the best shot we can get each possession.”
Southside improved to 9-10 with the win, and Holderfield said his team has started to play more consistently after a difficult start to the season.
“We had a tough start to our season,” he said. “We had a lot of injuries, and we played a really tough schedule before Christmas. And it could’ve gone either way. In our last eight ball games, we’ve had some incredible leadership from our guys that have been on varsity for a few years. From Dawson Nunn, from Tristan Riggan, from Gavin Orr. Those guys came together and got everybody on the same page and everybody moving in the same direction. I’m just really proud of the focus we had. A lot of it can be attributed to our leadership.”