BELPRE, Ohio — An offensive showcase.
The Southern boys basketball team dropped a 93-82 decision to Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division host Belpre on Tuesday evening in Washington County, with the teams combining for 63 field goals in the contest.
Southern (13-7, 10-5 TVC Hocking) — which has now dropped back-to-back games to BHS, ending a seven-game winning streak — led by a narrow 20-to-18 count after one quarter of play.
However, Belpre (12-9, 11-4) — riding a five-game winning streak — went on a 27-to-15 run in the second quarter and enjoyed a 45-35 lead at halftime.
The Golden Eagles added four more to their lead in the third period, outscoring the Tornadoes by a 22-18 clip to make the margin 67-53 with eight minutes to play.
The SHS offense saved its best for last, scoring 29 points in the fourth quarter, but Belpre scored 26 in the stanza and sealed the 93-82 victory.
The Purple and Gold were led by senior Dylan Smith, who hit one three-pointer and finished with 23 points. Next was Trey McNickle with 17 points, 13 of which came in the fourth quarter.
Brayden Cunningham contributed 15 points to the Tornado cause, Weston Thorla chipped in with eight, while Jensen Anderson and Austin Baker added seven apiece, with Anderson making a three-pointer. Coltin Parker and Larry Dunn rounded out the SHS total with three and two points respectively.
Brandon Simoniette led the Golden Eagles with 23 points, followed by Connor Baker with 15 and Bailey Sprague with 14. Logan Adams and Nate Godfrey came up with 12 points apiece, Ryan Simoniette added nine, while Cole Knotts and Jeremiah Stitt both finished with four.
Southern was 12-of-23 (52.2 percent) from the free throw line, where Belpre shot 32-of-40 (80 percent), including 14-of-20 (70 percent) in the fourth quarter.
The Golden Eagles also defeated Southern in Racine on Saturday by an 84-74 final. That was Belpre’s highest scoring game of the year before Tuesday.
Southern returns to Racine for the final time this season on Saturday to face Wahama.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.