Southside bombards Alexandria in area opener

December 11, 2019 chris
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File photo by Chris McCarthy

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor

It was bombs away for the Southside High boys basketball team last Tuesday (Dec. 10), and Chris Lengyel was the Panthers’ primary long-range gunner.
The senior shooting guard shot 57 percent (4-for-7) from the three-point line as Southside opened its Class 5A, Area 12 schedule with a 53-31 victory over Alexandria at SHS.
Lengyel (pictured above) finished with a game-high 19 points along with six rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks. As a team, the Panthers (6-2, 1-0) shot 42.3 percent from the three-point line while holding the Valley Cubs to 17.6 percent.
Lengyel’s trey at the 2:27 mark of the first quarter put the hosts on top for good. Southside held the visitors scoreless from the field during the second period while putting up 14 points on the home side of the scoreboard. Alexandria’s only offense was Collin Taylor’s foul shot at 3:02.
Tyler Rose’s basket with 1:33 left in the first half sent the Panthers into the locker room with a 21-7 advantage.
The Valley Cubs (3-2) never got within 10 points during the second half. Lengyel knocked down a pair of three-pointers in the third quarter and Tommy Simmons drilled another to help Southside take a 34-19 advantage into the final eight minutes.
Lengyel’s basket with five minutes left in the game provided the Panthers with a 20-point lead,
while Parker Crase contributed five points and six rebounds off the bench to polish off Southside’s first area win.
Simmons shot 2-for-3 from the three-point line on the way to 10 points. Taylor Carr chipped in seven points for the Panthers. Landon Williams paced Alexandria with 12 points.
According to Southside head coach Chad Holderfield, the Panthers’ most important statistic was averaging 0.97 points per possession while limiting the Valley Cubs to 0.60. In other words, rebounding.
“Above everything else, I felt that the best thing we did tonight was control the glass, which led to a lot of second and third possession shots for us. Our guys were really committed to our game plan of trying to make [Alexandria’s] post players work in a crowd and make contested shots. We also got to the free throw line a lot, especially in the first half. I also felt that our energy and  confidence came from our defense, so hopefully we can maintain that.”