RACINE, Ohio — This game showed the importance of practicing your free throws.
A combined total of 42 free throws were made during the Southern girls basketball team’s 50-41 victory over the Clay Lady Panthers (2-19) Saturday afternoon in a Division IV Southeast 1 sectional semifinal contest.
The Lady Tornadoes (3-15) started Saturday’s game on a defensive note, netting a couple of turnovers in the first minute.
The home team took a 4-0 lead to start before the Lady Panthers could score.
The Purple and Gold went on a 6-0 scoring run midway through the first quarter, eventually taking a 15-4 lead at the end of the first eight minutes.
The Lady Tornadoes continued to get turnovers off of the visitors, converting those chances into points on the scoreboard.
The Lady Panthers got all but two of their points through free throws in the second quarter, netting 10 points from the charity stripe.
Those free throws helped the Blue and Black outscore the home team 12-9 in the second, cutting the Purple and Gold’s lead to 24-16 heading into halftime.
The Lady Tornadoes started the second half on a 7-0 run.
Throughout the third quarter, Southern kept the score hovering around the 10-point mark, entering the fourth with a 36-24 advantage.
However, Clay got the score within eight points on a 6-2 scoring run to start the final quarter.
The Lady Panthers got the score down to six points at a couple points in the fourth, but were unable to get any closer.
The final two minutes of Saturday’s ballgame turned into a free throw dual, with free throws making up the final nine points.
In the end, the Lady Tornadoes held off the Lady Panthers to move on in the postseason.
In shot totals, Southern only led in field goals with a tally of 14-6.
Clay led in both 3-pointers and free throws with tallies of 2-1 and 23-19, respectively.
Leading the Lady Tornadoes in points was senior Kayla Evans, who recorded one 3-pointer, four field goals and five free throws for a total of 16 points.
Behind her fellow senior Kelly Shaver, who got three field goals and five free throws for 11 points.
Rounding out the Southern scoring were Kass Chaney with eight points, Timberlyn Templeton with six points, Michelle Adkins with four points, Lily Allen with three points and Cassidy Roderus with two points.
Leading the Lady Panthers was Kyleigh Oliver, who got two 3-pointers, three field goals and nine free throws for a total of 25 points.
In rebounds, the Purple and Gold had 11 offensive and 10 defensive for a total of 21 and were led by Evans with seven.
The Blue and Black had eight offensive boards and 17 defensive for a total of 25 and were led by Morgan McCoy with 13.
The Lady Tornadoes will be back on the court at 7 p.m. Wednesday when they travel to face the Trimble Lady Cats in the section final.
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Colton Jeffries can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.