Grading Out: Southside finishes 2017 on strong note
Published 5:35 pm Sunday, December 31, 2017
The winter athletics season is only about halfway through. However, with calendars flipping from 2017 to 2018, it feels like a whole new year. Area basketball teams are entering the thick of their schedules as games from here on out will be conference contests.
Most squads are carrying plenty of momentum into this crucial part of the season. All Beaufort County boys’ basketball teams were off for their final week before classes resume. Northside hosted Washington and Southside for its annual tournament before Christmas. The Lady Pack also got its tournament play out of the way.
The Lady Seahawks were the last area team to participate in a Christmas tournament. They played two games at South Creek this past week. They picked up a win against the hosts before dropping a close, physical bout with Edenton.
The Pam Pack wrestling team hosted some stiff competition for its annual Eli Saleeby tournament, too.
Here are the standouts from the final week of 2017:
SYMONE RUFFIN, SOUTHSIDE
Symone Ruffin continued to take it to the next level in her senior season. Southside got better as its tournament opener against host South Creek progressed. She finished with a double-double (18 points, 10 assists) in the 61-32 win. Her defensive work also helped limit the Lady Cougars.
The next day, Ruffin battled back from an apparent knee injury. She was able to get back on the court. Not long after returning to action, she knocked down a 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter to cut Southside’s deficit to 36-35. She was named tournament MVP.
MICHAELA DIXON, SOUTHSIDE
Michaela Dixon has arguably shown the most growth year-to-year than any other player on Southside’s roster. The senior center has made strides on the defensive end. That was evident in her ability to box out a strong South Creek center in the Lady Seahawks’ opening win.
Dixon’s 18 points tied Ruffin for the game high in that win. She also hauled in 12 rebounds for a double-double. Against Edenton, Dixon showcased her shooting range with a pair of fourth-quarter 3s that kept the game within reach.
SHANTEL CANNON, SOUTHSIDE
Shantel Cannon has also made a case for most improved among the Lady Seahawks. She demonstrated plenty of potential last year as a freshman, but has stepped up her game in her sophomore campaign.
Cannon had 10 points and was one of four Southside players to score in double figures in the win over South Creek. She also added five rebounds and four steals. She rose to the occasion in taking on more responsibility when senior guard Danielle Ruffin was sidelined with a knee injury for the game against Edenton.