NELSONVILLE, Ohio — It was practically over after it started.
Host Nelsonville-York made an 18-2 first quarter run and never looked back on Tuesday night during a 51-39 victory over the Southern boys basketball team in a non-conference matchup in Athens County.
The Buckeyes nailed four trifectas and surrendered only an Arrow Drummer basket over the opening eight minutes, which led to a commanding 16-point cushion.
The visiting Tornadoes (0-2), however, made a strong second quarter push to get back within striking distance as Cole Steele scored five points as part of a 14-7 surge that cut the halftime deficit down to 25-16.
SHS was able to close the gap down to two possessions a handful of times after the break, but both teams traded 10 points apiece in the third period while making it a 35-26 contest entering the fourth.
Ethan Gail poured in 10 points — including a 6-of-6 effort at the free throw line — as part of a 16-13 stretch run that allowed the Brown and Orange to wrap up the 12-point outcome.
Southern netted 16 total field goals — including a pair of 3-pointers — and also went 5-of-14 at the free throw line for 36 percent. The guests also committed 12 turnovers, hauled in 38 rebounds and had nine assists in the setback.
Steele paced the Tornadoes with 13 points, followed by Drummer with nine points and a team-best 11 rebounds. Trey McNickle was next with eight points and added team-highs of four assists and three steals.
Landen Hill contributed five markers, while Ryan Laudermilt and Coltin Parker wrapped things up with two points apiece.
The Buckeyes made 16 total field goals — including seven trifectas — and also went 12-of-18 at the free throw line for 67 percent.
Gail led the hosts with a game-high 16 points, followed by Drew Carter with 13 points. Mikey Seel and Austin Thrapp were next with 10 points each, while Braydin McKee completed the winning tally with two markers.
Southern makes its home debut on Friday when it hosts Waterford in a TVC Hocking contest at 7 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.