Seahawks run past Trojans

Published 9:40 pm Thursday, March 1, 2012

Southside point guard Katisha Hyman (22) runs up the court during the Seahawks 48-31 victory over Southeast Halifax in the NCHSAA 1-A East Regional semifinals in Fayetteville on Thursday. (WDN Photo/Brian Haines)

FAYETTVILLE — A strong defensive effort by Southside led to a wickedly effective transition game that allowed the Seahawks to run past Southeast Halifax 48-31 in Thursday’s NCHSAA 1-A East Regional semifinal matchup inside the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville
With the win, the No. 5 Seahawks (28-3) advance to the East Regional finals for the first time in school history where they will face the winner of the No. 1 Lakewood-No. 2 Goldsboro matchup Saturday at 4 p.m.
Last season Southside’s playoff run was halted in the East Regional semifinals as a wide-eyed Seahawks team lost their battle with rookie jitters, as well as Goldsboro.
This year, the veteran group didn’t blink as it held a lead at the end of every quarter and made 55 percent of their shots and held Southeast Halifax 31 percent shooting from the floor.
“We feel great. We really wanted to comeback and show that we’re a good team,” Southside coach Bill Lake said. “We felt like we had a real good shot tonight and we went out and executed or game plan.”
Playing stellar defense was certainly part of the game plan and the Southside girls executed their orders to perfection as they held the No. 3 Trojans (23-4, Tar-Roanoke) under 10 points for every quarter except the first.
The combination of Valerie Ruffin, Rosalind Clark and Katisha Hyman clamped down on star guard Sekethia William limiting her to 10 points under her 23 points per game average. Williams would be the only Southeast Halifax player to score over 10 points.
“It was a low scoring game, the girls did a good job on defense,” Lake said. “They got up on their man and made them take shots from positions they don’t normally shoot from and I think that was a big difference.”
On offense, the Seahawks put forth a balanced effort as they were led by Hyman’s 13 points, while Ruffin added 12 and Deandria Purdue tallied 10.
A back-and-forth first quarter ended with Southside up 14-10, which it turned into a 23-17 halftime advantage. The Seahawks broke the game open in the third where they outscored the Trojans 16-6 to go into the final quarter up 39-23.
Heading into the contest the prevailing thought was that the larger court inside the Crown Coliseum would benefit offensive play. However, it had the opposite effect as Southside was able to step in front of the Trojans’ longer halfcourt swing passes and turn them into fastbreak buckets.
“It did help us defensively,” Lake said. “(The Trojans) spread it out but it gave us time to recover. The court was so big that it we had a chance to catch back up with the ball.”
Overall, Southside tallied 14 steals with Hyman accounting for six of them.
The Seahawks’ size advantage was also a big factor as they outrebounded Southeast Halifax 15-7 in the first half. The Trojans’ effort on the glass would improve as they finished the game with only one less rebound then Southside, but the damage was already done. Kyajia Mourning and Purdue led the Seahawks with six boards apiece.

Southside    14    9    16    9    –    48
Southeast Halifax    10    7    6    8    –    31
Seahawks (48)
Valerie Ruffin 12, Katisha Hyman 13, Mourning 2, Painter 7, Deandria Purdue 10, Tisdale 2, Blango 2.
Trojans (31)
Sekethia Williams 13, Harrison 4, Battle 5, Rudd 2, Richardson 3, Hedgepeth 4.