The Southside girls basketball team withstood a late Gadsden City rally for a 46-39 win Tuesday night at Gadsden City High School.
The Panthers had a 21-17 lead at the half and took control during the third quarter to claim a 31-24 advantage heading into the fourth.
The Titans were down by as many as 10 in the final period, but they used a 10-2 run trim their deficit to 39-37 after a 3-pointer by Darrelyn Rudolph with 3:20 left in the game.
Southside’s Lauren Hunt drove to the basket on each of the Panthers’ next two possessions and drew fouls each time. Hunt sunk all four free throws to extend Southside’s lead to six points.
With 2:10 left, Kenzie Duncan also drew a foul and made two free throws to give the Panthers a comfortable 45-37 lead.
Southside held on for the win from there.
The Titans went down 12-4 after the first quarter but stormed back with a 10-0 run capped off by a Donyuana Evans three to take a two-point lead to start the second.
After the Panthers took the lead back, Rudolph hit a three with 1:54 left in the first half to give the Titans a 17-16 lead.
That was the last lead for Gadsden City as the Panthers closed the second quarter on a 5-0, run including a Duncan 3-pointer.
Star of the Night
Hunt totaled eight points and hit four pivotal free throws late in the game to help Southside earn the win.
By the Numbers
1 — First meeting between Southside and Gadsden City in basketball. … 25 — Number of rebounds for Southside. … 10 — Number of offensive boards for the Panthers. … 8 — Number of players who scored for Gadsden City.
Play of the Game
Hunt’s free throws with under three minutes remaining came when Gadsden City was gaining a lot of momentum with a loud crowd behind it. The made free throws gave the Panthers a six-point lead.
“It was a great atmosphere for a basketball game. It was real exciting for us to get an opportunity to play. I thought it was two good girls basketball teams playing, so it was an exciting night.” — Southside coach Kim Nails
“It was a great high school atmosphere tonight. I think fans, players and everybody was into the game. You get these good-type playoff atmospheres and it always helps you in the long run.” — Gadsden City coach Jeremy Brooks
Southside Stat Sheet
Emilee Coker scored eight points and grabbed 11 rebounds. … Maci Williams and Alexis Thompson had six points each. … Harley Simmons had six rebounds.
Gadsden City Stat Sheet
Rudolph was the lone Titan in double figures with 12 points. … Camille Jenkins totaled eight points while Asia Samuels scored five points.
Gadsden City (5-3) travels to Mountain Brook on Monday.
Article courtesy of the Gadsden Times writer, Teddy Couch.