Southside defeats Glencoe 53-42 to gain boys final


Southside’s Kyle Mann defends the shot of Glencoe’s Jonathan Gray during the Etowah County boys basketball tournament semifinal game Wednesday at Gadsden State. (Photo by Marc Golden | Gadsden Times)


Southside advanced to the championship of the Etowah County boys high school basketball tournament with a 53-42 win over Glencoe on Wednesday at Gadsden State’s Beck Field House.

The game was tight throughout the first half, but the Panthers (12-5) began to pull away in the third quarter and held on in the fourth for the victory.

Southside took control of the game by taking advantage of offensive rebounds and second-chance points. Tyler Carr played a big part in the win, scoring 10 points and pulling down 15 boards.

“We wanted to be patient on offense,” Southside coach Kevin Troup said. “We didn’t want to come down and take quick shots. Our shot selection was better. We had more high-percentage shots, and those give you more opportunities to get the rebound on the back side. When we attacked the rim, they had to play help defense and that opened up the back side on some rebounds.”

Southside’s ability to score was one of the differences in the game, Glencoe coach Tommy Stanley said.

“Coach Troup and his staff did an outstanding job, they were just better coached tonight,” he said. “Everything they (Southside) shot went in. For us, it was just a lack of shooting the ball and getting it to go in. Give Southside credit, they played good defense. We let them shoot, and they shot.”

The Panthers had a 24-20 lead at the break. As the second half progressed, Southside slowly but surely took over with solid defense and timely shooting. The Yellow Jackets (14-7) only trailed 35-30 late in the third quarter until Drew Mullinax hit a 3-pointer to give the Panthers a 38-30 edge and some momentum going into the fourth.

The final quarter opened with Southside scoring the first four points, off of back-to-back buckets by Saige Benson including a miss and putback, to give the Panthers up 42-30, the first double-digit lead for either squad in the game. Glencoe twice got back to within 8, 44-36 and 46-38 with a basket by Austin Hancock each time, but it got no closer as Southside hung on for the victory.

“We’re all sophomores and juniors with a couple of seniors,” Troup said. “Everybody said we’d be a year away, so I’m proud of them. There’s a lot of little things we need to get better at, communication, setting screens on offense, doing a better job of executing plays, a lot of basketball IQ stuff. Our kids kept battling and I’m so proud of where we are right now.”

The first two quarters saw neither team maintain much momentum. Powered by five points from Mullinax, the Panthers raced to an 11-2 lead early. The Yellow Jackets played shutout defense for the rest of the quarter, though, outscoring Southside 7-0 to cut it to the margin to two after one quarter Hancock scored five points in the opening eight minutes.

The second quarter saw Southside lead by no more than four at any point. Scott Bradley’s basket late in the quarter tied the contest at 20, but Mann hit four free throws to give the Panthers the lead at halftime.

Mullinax paced Southside with 14 points. Chris Leonhardt garnered 10 points and three rebounds. Mann chipped in six assists and a pair of steals.

Hancock led Glencoe with 12 points. Micah McHenry contributed seven points.