Photo: Southside’s Chris Lengyel (left) drives the lane as West End’s Jeremiah Roberson defends during the Panthers’ 71-34 victory over West End in the Etowah County Schools Basketball Tournament semifinals on Jan. 15 at Southside. (Courtesy of Gary Wells)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
When Southside’s sharpshooters are on target, the Panthers are tough to beat, particularly at home during the Etowah County Schools Basketball Tournament.
The hosts knocked down 12 three-point baskets, including five by Taylor Carr and four by Colton Morrison on the way to a 71-34 win over West End in the tournament semifinals last Wednesday (Jan. 15).
The Panthers will play the winner of Thursday’s Hokes Bluff/Sardis semifinals, the result of which was too late for this edition.
“I felt like we began the game a little antsy, but we settled about halfway through the first quarter,” said Southside head coach Chad Holderfield. “Our guys played hard and did a good job of getting after it. We also did a really good job on the glass at both ends of the floor.”
Carr finished with 17 points, followed by Morrison with 14. Michael Rich added 10 points, six rebounds and five assists, while Chris Lengyel chipped in nine points, seven assists and five steals. Jordan Grantland grabbed nine rebonds.
Southside fired away from the perimeter early and often. The Panthers opened the game with a 14-3 run that set the stage for a 22-9 lead after one quarter.
Gavin Knue’s trey early in the second period that closed the gap to 10 points was as close as the Patriots would get. Three straight three-pointers from Carr and another from Morrison helped Southside enter the locker room with a 38-19 advantage.
Tommy Simmons scored all 13 of his points – including three 3-point baskets – during the third quarter to put the game out of reach. A pair of free throws by Parker Crask in the closing seconds made it 62-38 in favor of the hosts.
With a running clock, the final eight minutes were used to clear the benches of both teams.
Jeremiah Roberson paced West End with 10 points, followed by Knue, Isaiah Roberson and Levi Armstrong with five each.