Southside girls advance|Top Cougars in the first round of the conference tourney

Published 1:44 am Tuesday, February 15, 2011

By By BRIAN HAINES,, Sports Writer
CHOCOWINITY — Though it was Valentine’s Day, Southside showed no love to South Creek in the first round of the Four Rivers Conference tournament as it started off the game with an impressive 13-0 run and never looked back as the Seahawks rolled past the Cougars 59-47 in game that wasn’t as close as the score would indicate.
Southside (17-3), the Four Rivers Conference champions and No. 1 seed, went right to work on trying to add a conference tourney title to its list of accomplishments this season as it took a 13-0 lead after a Katisha Hyman three-pointer and ended the first quarter with a 22-7 advantage.
Hyman led all scorers with 16 points, while teammates Chante Painter added 12 and Atyana Starkie tallied nine.
“Our starters were ready to play and they played real well,” Southside coach Bill Lake said. “They came out and kept the game under control and gave us a chance to give them some rest and get some playing experience for some of the other players.”
The win propels Southside into the second round of the tournament where it will face the winner of the Camden-Manteo game at Riverside High School at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
Lake used his bench liberally throughout the game and early in the second quarter it almost cost him as South Creek (3-21), the No. 8 seed, went on an 11-2 run to cut the lead to 24-18 after a Lauren Sitterson layup with 4:15 left to play in the first half.
Sitterson finished the game with nine points, while guard Kim Mobley led the South Creek with 17 points and center/forward Jasmine Outlaw scored 10.
Sitterson’s layup forced Lake to call a timeout and give his team a wakeup call.
“I told them that they can’t come out and take this team lightly,” Lake said. “(South Creek) has some good players and they got some confidence and made a nice run. We were just starting to relax way too early.”
The players got the message as they held the Cougars scoreless the rest of the half and went into the break with a 34-18 lead.
Southside expanded its lead to 49-29 by the end of the third quarter, and looked like it would coast to a blowout victory. However, South Creek had one last run in it.
The Cougars took advantage of the Seahawks’ reserve players and pressed their way back to striking distance. With a little over two minutes left in the game, their run force the Southside starters to come back out on the court to restore order.
“We got down in a 13-0 hole early and made a comeback to get it back down to six, but then we kind of went back to our old ways of turning the ball over,” South Creek coach Greg Exum said. “In the fourth quarter they decided they were ready to play defense and they stepped up and were able to put some points on the board. Our freshman guard Lauren Sitterson and our sophomore guard Kim Mobley, along with our freshman Jasmine Outlaw, really came to play.”
Exum said the newly-formed South Creek High School, which was created when Bear Grass merged with Roanoke this summer, has had a bumpy inaugural season but expects that this team will have a bright future.
“I wish it could have been better with our wins and losses, but we went through a lot of growing pains this year,” Exum said. “But I think next year we know what to expect and I think we have the nucleus to improve and bet better.”
South Creek 7 11 11 18 — 47
Southside 22 12 15 10 — 59
Cougars (47)
Kim Mobley 17, Peele 2, Sitterson 9, Jasmine Outlaw 10, Hangeb 7, Vanderwhich 2.
Seahawks (59)
Katisha Hyman 16, Thomas 7, Starkie 9, Chante Painter 12, Purdue 7, Clark 5, Stanbridge 2, Dudley 1.