Southside rally falls short against Valley Cubs

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By Chris McCarthy/Editor

Southside recovered from a double-digit deficit in the second half to make a game of it late on Monday (Dec. 14), but Alexandria hung on for a 51-43 victory in boys basketball at SHS.

Trailing 34-22 with 2:12 remaining in the third quarter, the Panthers put together a 12-3 run to draw within 39-34 with five minutes left in the game. 

Both teams soon were in the bonus free throw situation at the point, allowing the hosts to keep within single digits down the stretch.

Ethan Arflack knocked down a three-point basket with 47 seconds to go to draw Southside within 46-41, but the Panthers had to foul to regain possession. 

Unfortunately for Southside, the Valley Cubs kept the ball in the hands of its top sharpshooter, Riley Shaw, and the senior guard went 5-for-6 at the free throw line to secure the win for Alexandria.

Shaw finished with a game-high 17 points, including four 3-point baskets.

Arflack led the Panthers with 10 points, followed by Taylor Gidley and Devin Laster with eight each and Jared D’eath with five.

Southside’s last lead of the game came on a Laster 3-pointer with 1:52 left in the first quarter, a shot that gave the Panthers a 10-7 advantage.

The visitors responded in the second period with a 7-0 run that paced the way for a 22-16 halftime lead.

The momentum remained with the Valley Cubs after intermission, as six points from DeMarcus Swink helped Alexandria pad its advantage to 12 points.

But the hosts had some gas left in the tank. D’eath’s three-pointer and layup in the frame’s final 12 seconds pulled Southside within 36-29 at the start of the fourth quarter, and Gidley’s two foul shots with 5:02 on the clock narrowed the gap to five points. But Shaw’s clutch free throws kept the hosts at bay. 

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