Photo: Southside’s Taylor Carr (12) goes in for a layup as Sardis’ Dylan Holcomb looks on during the Panthers’ 62-29 win in the Etowah County Schools Basketball Tournament boys semifinals on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at Glencoe High School. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
Southside made short work of Sardis in the Etowah County Schools Basketball Tournament boys semifinals on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at Glencoe High School.
Beginning with Owen Wescott’s layup 35 seconds into the game and ending with Isaac Barnard’s bucket in the closing minute, the defending county champion Panthers led from wire to wire in a 62-29 win at Glencoe.
Southside faces the winner of Thursday’s semifinal, which features Hokes Bluff and West End.
“I thought our guys competed really hard and played to-gether,” said Southside head coach Chad Holderfield. “I was pleased with how we ran the floor and shared the basketball tonight. Some guys who might have been on the JV or didn’t get too many minutes early in the season are now playing important roles for us.”
Wescott’s early basket started a 13-2 run that eventually provided the Panthers with a 15-5 lead after one quarter. Taylor Carr and Michael Rich, Jr., each scored five points during the second period to help put Southside ahead 36-14 at halftime.
The Panthers built a 50-21 advantage entering the fourth quarter, during which Barnard scored the final eight Southside points of the game.
Rich scored 13 points for the Panthers, followed by Taylor Carr and Hunter Sitz with 12 each, Barnard with 11 and Will Shirley with nine.
Blake Owens paced Sardis with six points, while Peyton Wherwein and J.J. Anderson each scored five.
Holderfield pointed out that his team was fortunate that the county tournament was being held due to COVID-19 concerns, much less having the opportunity to defend its title.
“Four or five months ago, I didn’t even know if we’d be here. It’s special to be able to play for a county championship, but above all, it’s special for our seniors to have a chance to play in it.”