RACINE, Ohio — One of those nights where the ball doesn’t bounce your way.
The Southern boys basketball team won the turnover battle by seven, were within three in the rebounding battle, and put up eight more field goal attempts than Nelsonville-York on Tuesday, but that didn’t stop Buckeyes from escaping Meigs County with a 40-37 victory in non-league play.
The Tornadoes (0-2) doubled up the Buckeyes in the opening quarter, as Southern stormed out to a 14-7 advantage. The Purple and Gold went cold in the second quarter, however, with the Buckeyes going on a 14-3 run for a 21-17 halftime advantage.
The teams evenly split eight points in a slow-paced third quarter, and Nelsonville-York clung to a 25-21 edge. Southern’s offense came alive with seven field goals and a pair of free throws in the last eight minutes, but the Buckeyes poured in 15 points and went 6-of-8 from the line to seal the 40-37 victory.
In the game, Southern shot 16-of-57 (28.1 percent) from the field, including just 2-of-18 (11.1 percent) from three-point range, while NYHS shot 15-of-59 (25.4 percent), including 4-of-14 (28.6 percent) from deep. At the free throw line, SHS was 3-of-9 (33.3 percent), while the Buckeyes shot 9-of-13 (69.2 percent).
Nelsonville-York outrebounded Southern by a 37-34 clip, with the three-board edge coming by a 7-to-4 margin on the offensive end. Collectively, the Tornadoes had nine assists, nine steals, seven rejections and 11 turnovers, while NYHS marked seven assists, four steals, one rejection and 18 turnovers.
The hosts were led by Brayden Cunningham, who marked team-highs of 13 points, seven rebounds and six blocked shots. Jensen Anderson was responsible for both of Southern’s three-pointers and finished with 10 points, while Trey McNickle added six markers.
Weston Thorla and Austin Baker scored four points apiece, with Thorla dishing out a team-best five assists, and Barker picking up a game-high four steals.
Justin Perry led the Orange and Brown with 11 points, seven of which came in the fourth quarter. Ethan Bohyer tallied 10 points, Keegan Wilburn added six, while Mikey Seel and Reece Robson had five apiece. Ethan Gail and Bryce Richards rounded out the winning total with two points and one point respectively.
Southern begins Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division play at home on Friday against Eastern.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.