Southside edges Sardis in tournament semifinals

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By Adam Crocker/Sports Correspondent

With 10 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter of Thursday’s Etowah County Tournament semifinals and Southside clinging to a three-point lead over Sardis, the Panther defense stepped up to close the deal.

Following a missed three-point attempt, the Lions managed only Jesse Hubbard’s layup as time expired, allowing Southside to post a 38-37 victory.

Southside (11-11) faces Hokes Bluff in Friday’s championship game.

Southside coach Chad Holderfield was proud of his team’s performance.

“We had trouble getting points in the paint, and credit that to Sardis; they did a great job defensively. This is probably the best we’ve done from the perimeter all year in a game. So, that was big for us tonight.”

The Panthers led 29-27 after John Holland knocked down a three-point basket while time expired in the third quarter, then Clay Roberson’s 3-point play at the start of the fourth put the Lions up 30-29.

A.J. James sank two free throws with 55 seconds remaining in the game to give Sardis a 35-34 lead, but Saige Benson answered with a field goal to put Southside back on top with 40 seconds left.

An offensive charge by Sardis with 17 remaining resulted in two foul shots by Dalton Harris and a 38-35 Panther lead.

Taylor Gidley led Southside with 14 points, including four 3-point baskets. Dalton Harris added eight points.

Hubbard led Sardis with 20 points, followed by Jaxon Haygood with eight.

Helped by nine points from Hubbard, Sardis started the game off with a 9-7 lead after one quarter.

That advantage didn’t stand for long, as the Panthers kicked off the second period with a 10-3 run. Sardis drew within 17-15 on Haygood’s three-pointer shortly before halftime. 

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