Southside dismantles Alexandria in area championship

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Photo: Southside’s Grace Ann Rose (20) drives to the basket as Alexandria’s Allyssa Hunt defends during the Lady Panthers’ 63-24 victory in the Class 5A Area 12 Tournament basketball championship game on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at SHS. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor

The Southside High girls basketball team kicked off the postseason in dominant fashion on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at SHS.
In the Class 5A Area 12 Tournament championship game, the No. 3 Lady Panthers administered a 63-24 beating to Alexandria to win their second straight area title.
The Lady Panthers had the Lady Valley Cubs back on their heels from the opening tip, holding Alexandria to one field goal in the first quarter on the way to a 17-4 lead.
The Lady Cubs pulled within 10 points midway through the second period, but Laylah Davis’ buzzer-beating layup sent the hosts into halftime ahead 32-16.
Southside widened the gap to 51-24 by the end of the third quarter, and with the help of a running clock with six minutes to go in the game, the Lady Panthers did not allow a point during the fourth quarter.
Madison Shaw paced Southside with 13 points, while Grace Ann Rose finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and five deflections. Sarakate Yancey scored 10 points, followed by Davis with eight, Hannah Westcott with seven and Jovi Marble and Mallory Brooks with six each. Davis, Westcott and Marble each had five rebounds, while Brooks had five deflections.
Charlie Parris led Alexandria with 17 points, including five 3-point baskets.
“I thought we ran the floor really well and pushed the ball ahead,” said Southside head coach Justin Bowen. “I was really proud of our defensive effort. I don’t know how many times this year we’ve held the other team to under 25 [points], but this was another one. We really didn’t want to run everything we had on offense, but we did a good job with the stuff we did use.”
Southside will host either Scottsboro or Guntersville on Friday, Feb. 9 in the subregional playoffs.
“We ended Guntersville’s season last year (in the Northeast Regional semifinals), so I’m sure they’ll be out for revenge if that’s who we do end up playing,” said Bowen.
Rose, Shaw and Yancey made the all-tournament team.

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