Photo: Southside High’s Cayden McMichael (left) encounters Glencoe’s Aiden Cornutt during the Panthers’ 70-67 victory in boys basketball on January 4 at SHS. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
The Southside boys basketball team earned its fourth victory of the season in dramatic fashion last Wednesday (Jan. 4) against Glencoe.
With three seconds remaining in the first overtime session, senior guard Brenton Heath knocked down a 3-point basket from the left corner to give the Panthers a 70-67 win.
Heath was in position for the winning shot after Will Shirley’s lay-up in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter forced a 61-61 tie. Glencoe’s Garrett Morgan had provided the Yellow Jackets with a 61-59 lead with 21 seconds left in the final period.
Scotty Motes, who finished with a game-high 17 points, gave the Panthers the early lead in overtime. Wade Segrest’s basket forced a tie before Cayden McMichael responded for Southside. After Jayden Patton scored for the Yellow Jackets on the next possession to make it 65-65, Motes canned a pair of free throws to put the hosts up by two points with 38 seconds left.
Morgan’s lay-up with 10 seconds remaining tied the game at 67-67, and Southside head coach Chad Holderfield called a time-out to set up a potentially game-winning shot.
“It really didn’t matter at that point if we were going to get two or three points; we were just trying to get the best shot that we could,” he said. “We drew up a play for Gauge [NeSmith] to get a catch in the box, and [Glencoe] had that pretty well covered. But Brenton was wide open in the corner, and he made a good shot.”
Glencoe head coach Ryan Chambless immediately called time following Heath’s basket. The Yellow Jackets had time for a last-second three-point shot attempt, which hit the backboard as the buzzer sounded.
“This definitely was a gritty win, and our kids showed a lot of heart.” said Holderfield. “There were a lot of big plays by both teams. This is the third overtime game that we’ve won, so we’ve been in a lot of dogfights this year.”
Shirley followed Motes with 13 points, followed by Heath and McMichael with 12 each and NeSmith with eight.
Morgan paced Glencoe with 16 points. Segrest contri-buted 12 points, while Patton and Aiden Cornutt each netted nine. Nolan Fairley added eight points.
Southside looked to break the game open early in the third quarter when McMichael’s 3-pointer provided the Panthers with a nine-point advantage, but Glencoe ended the period with a 13-2 run that put the Yellow Jackets ahead 48-45 at the start of the fourth.
After Cooper Horton’s basket extended the lead to 50-45, neither team led by more than four points for the remainder of regulation. Shirley helped Southside with six points over the last two minutes, while Morgan accounted for six of the Yellow Jackets’ final 11 points.
“It would have been really easy for our guys to become frustrated and upset after Glencoe made that run,” said Hol-derfield. “But they bounced back, and I was really proud of them for that.”
A 10-2 Panther run during the first quarter led to a 23-12 Southside advantage after eight minutes. The Panthers eventually stretched their lead to double digits at 30-18, but five points from Patton late in the first half helped the Yellow Jackets draw within 36-29 at halftime.
“Every team we’ve played so far has been really solid,” said Holderfield. “We haven’t had a lot of nights when we weren’t playing against a potential playoff team. This is a tough bunch of guys, and I think we can compete for a county championship and made a good run in the area tour-nament and in the playoffs.”