RACINE, Ohio — Going out on a good note.
The Southern girls basketball team celebrated Senior Night in style Thursday evening during an 83-16 victory over visiting Wahama in a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup in Meigs County.
The Lady Tornadoes (15-6, 12-4 TVC Hocking) led wire-to-wire and received a combined 43 points from their four seniors, all while shooting 48 percent from the field in their final home contest.
The Lady Falcons (0-17, 0-15), conversely, committed 28 turnovers and shot just 16 percent from the floor while dropping their 60th consecutive decision. WHS — which dropped a 61-16 decision to Southern back on January 4 in Mason — has also lost its last 51 outings in TVC Hocking play.
SHS hit 11-of-18 shot attempts in the opening period and scored the game’s first 21 points, but Olivia Hill finally got the Red and White on the scoreboard with a jumper at the 1:26 mark. The hosts closed the final minute with a small 4-0 run to secure a 25-2 advantage through eight minutes of play.
Both teams traded a bucket apiece in the opening two minutes of the second canto, but the Purple and Gold reeled off the next 13 points to extend their lead out to 41-4 with 30 seconds left in the half.
Nena Hunt ended a 5:38 scoring drought for Wahama with a free throw with 13 seconds left, but Faith Teaford hit a bucket right before the buzzer to give Southern a commanding 43-5 halftime lead.
After committing 17 first half turnovers, the Lady Falcons made seven more miscues in the third stanza — which aided SHS during a 19-3 run that led to a 62-8 lead headed into the finale.
Southern’s largest lead came at 79-9 after a basket by Savannah Bailey with 2:38 left in regulation, but Wahama ended the final 2:14 on a 7-4 run to wrap up the 67-point outcome.
The Lady Tornadoes committed only six turnovers and outrebounded the guests by a sizable 46-22 overall margin, including a 23-5 discrepancy on the offensive glass. SHS finishes third in the TVC Hocking behind Waterford (16-0) and Eastern (13-3), but also takes a three-game winning streak into the postseason.
It’s the third straight season in which the Lady Tornadoes have finished third in the league standings, finishing 11-5 two years ago while also going 12-4 in conference last winter.
Second-year SHS coach Kent Wolfe was pleased with how well the send-off went for Bailey, Ali Deem, Haley Hill and Jansen Wolfe during their final home contest. More importantly, he’s proud of how far these girls have come in their four years of basketball.
After all, these upperclassmen have a combined 45-18 regular season mark over the last three years after owning a 6-15 record during their freshman campaign.
“Tonight was a good way for these girls to go out at home,” Wolfe said. “It’s been a while at Southern since a class could say that its had close to 50 wins in its career. These kids have put in a lot of work and become a very special group for our program.
“At the same time, we’re not done yet. It’s been a while since we’ve had a girls basketball team win a sectional title, so they have another chance to do something special. We have a tough game coming up with a competitive Symmes Valley team, but we do feel like we have some momentum and confidence headed into the postseason.”
The Lady Tornadoes netted 31-of-65 field goal attempts overall, including a 3-of-12 effort from behind the arc for 25 percent. The hosts — who scored a season-high in points — were also 18-of-22 at the charity stripe for 82 percent.
Teaford led SHS with a game-high 27 points, with 21 of those coming in the first half. Wolfe had a double-double effort of 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Hill and Deem respectively added 12 and 11 markers.
Bailey was next with eight points and Jaiden Roberts chipped in five points, while Josie Cundiff and Sierra Cleland rounded out the winning tally with four markers each. Teaford and Bailey also hauled in eight caroms apiece for the hosts.
The Lady Falcons connected on 5-of-32 field goal attempts overall, including a 1-of-9 effort from three-point range for 11 percent. WHS was also 5-of-8 at the charity stripe for 63 percent.
Henry led the guests with five points, followed by Maddy VanMatre with four points and Kymber Bowyer with three markers. Hill and Hunt rounded out the Red and White tally with two points apiece.
Wahama’s last victory came during a 53-48 home decision over the Lady Tornadoes back on January 14, 2013.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.