RACINE, Ohio — You can’t win a game in a half, but that didn’t stop the Tornadoes from trying.
The Southern boys basketball team led by 31 points midway through its home finale Tuesday, and the Purple and Gold cruised to a 78-49 victory over Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division guest Miller.
The Tornadoes (11-9, 9-6 TVC Hocking) — who won the first bout with MHS by a 74-53 tally on Jan. 11 in Hemlock — held the Falcons (1-20, 1-14) to just five points in the opening quarter on Tuesday, charging out to a nine-point lead eight minutes into play.
Southern surged for 28 points, 15 from three-point range, in the second quarter and extended its lead to 47-16 by halftime.
Miller got one point back in the each of the final two periods, outscoring SHS 18-to-17 in the third and 16-to-15 in the fourth.
In the 78-49 victory, Southern shot 31-of-74 (41.9 percent) from the field, including 9-of-20 (45 percent) from three-point range. Meanwhile, the Falcons made 16-of-56 (28.6 percent) field goal attempts, including 8-of-30 (26.7 percent) trifecta tries.
At the free throw line, SHS was 7-of-12 (58.3 percent) and MHS was 9-of-14 (64.3 percent).
The hosts won the rebounding battle by a 50-to-30 clip, including 18-to-10 on the offensive glass. SHS forced two dozen turnovers and committed 11, while marking team totals of 18 assists, 13 steals and two rejections.
Cole Steele led the victors with 19 points, combining a five two-pointers with a trio of triples. Next was Jensen Anderson with 13 points, followed by Austin Baker with 11.
Brayden Cunningham contributed nine points and a team-high 13 rebounds to the winning cause, Arrow Drummer added seven points and nine boards, while Trey McNickle chipped in with six points and a team-best five assists.
Weston Thorla tallied four points for the Tornadoes, while Coltin Parker, Chase Bailey and Dristan Lamm capped off the team total with three each. McNickle led the SHS defense with four steals, followed by Parker and Cunningham with a steal and a block apiece.
Colby Bartley led Miller with 32 points, 15 of which came from beyond the arc. Steven Willison had seven points in the setback, Kylan McClain and Blayton Cox scored three each, while Tre McCoy added two.
The Purple and Gold will wrap up their TVC Hocking schedule on Friday at Eastern.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.