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Southside Tigers clip Nation Ford Falcons

For almost every run the Southside Tigers made, the Nation Ford Falcons matched them.

But there was one run in the second half which closed the books on the Falcons' season, as they lost 66-58 in the second round of the Class-AAA boys' state playoffs.

Southside consistently beat Nation Ford to the basket and beat the Falcons on the boards for the majority of the game.

"They are a good team," said Nation Ford coach Brian Turner. "We knew it would be a close game. As a whole, we competed well. When it's all said and done this senior class set a new standard. We had 17 wins which was a school record and our first playoff win."

Although Nation Ford trailed by just 10 after three quarters, at 52-42, it seemed as if it was down by a lot more as it struggled most of the fourth quarter to catch Southside.

The Falcons pulled within four at 62-58 on a Brandon Harris 3-pointer with about 90 seconds left, but Southside had too many offensive weapons to let Nation Ford complete the comeback.

After leading by five at the half, Southside came out on a 6-2 run to open the third quarter as it outhustled Nation Ford, beating the Falcons back to the basket and were able to score quickly in transition, forcing the Falcons to take a timeout.

The Tigers quickly went ahead 40-29 and showed no sign of slowing.

Nation Ford came storming back by pushing the ball up the court. That allowed Harris to get to the basket for easy layups and pull within six at 42-36.

Despite the run, Southside didn't allow Nation Ford to come all the way back into the game as the Tigers went up 50-38 with about 90 seconds left in the third quarter.

Nation Ford struggled with turnovers for most of the game, committing five in the second quarter and four in the third.

Southside shot 90 percent in the third quarter. The Tigers missed just one shot and were perfect from the free-throw line to pull away.

The game was a very physical one on both ends for Nation Ford as the referees allowed both teams to play, calling just a combined 13 fouls in the first half.

Nation Ford tied the score at 16 on a Chase Bollinger shot with about 6 minutes, 30 seconds left in the second quarter.

Southside went up by five midway through the quarter on two straight shots by Qua Copeland, who led with 23 points, but the Falcons came back with a 3-pointer by Brandon Sturdivant.

Again Southside made a run to again go up by five at 25-20, aided by two straight Nation Ford turnovers.

However, the Falcons stopped a 6-0 Southside run on a Harris basket, which followed a free throw by sophomore Riley Hilton.

Harris tied the score at 27 with about 30 seconds left in the half after driving the lane for the basket, but a quick-working Southside team went up before the half by scoring five points in 30 seconds.

Southside pulled ahead on a free throw and put back right before the end of the first to take a 15-12 lead.

Southside came out with a half court trap to start, which Nation Ford was able to break. Both teams turned the ball over early and Southside went to its outside game to take an 8-4 lead.

The Falcons used its inside game and drove the ball to get the game back into its control tying things at eight.

Southside 66, Nation Ford 58

Southside

15

17

20

14

-

66

Nation Ford

12

15

15

16

-

58

Southside - Qua Copeland 23, Donte Anderson 20, Jawun Evans 8, Chris Sloan 6, ReShun Scott 5, Shaquan Young 2, Keldrick Allen 2.

Nation Ford - Brandon Harris 15, Carson Smith 8, Brandon Sturdivant 7, Riley Hilton 7, AJ Jackson 6, Chase Bollinger 4, Kevin Stewart 4, Andrew Komornik 3, JJ McCullough 2, Ben Sidebotham 2.

3-pointers - Southside 5 (Qua Copeland 3, Donte Anderson 1, Jawun Evans 1), Nation Ford 4 (Brandon Sturdivant 1, Carson Smith 1, AJ Jackson 1, Brandon Harris 1).

Team fouls - Southside 12, Nation Ford 18. Fouled out - Kevin Stewart (NF).

Records: Southside 16-9, Nation Ford 17-9.

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