Stifling defense earns Southside boys, girls fourth-straight win

Published 2:24 pm Wednesday, January 29, 2020

CHOCOWINITY — The Southside basketball teams have erased the memories of a two-games skid from a couple of weeks ago after winning four consecutive games. Tuesday night, the Seahawks girls came away with a 57-14 victory over Columbia, and the boys won 59-32.

In the girls’ game, it was business as usual for the Lady Seahawks (13-4, 4-2 Coastal Plains 1-A). They opened up a huge first half lead and never looked back. Southside led 31-8 at the half, and continued to build onto their commanding lead in the second half with fast break buckets following turnovers.

SETTLE: Southside’s Laquisha Woolard calmly walks the ball up the floor in the Seahawks’ blow-out win over Columbia on Tuesday night in Chocowinity. (MItchell Thomas / Daily News)

The scoring was spread out between six different scorers. Freshman guard Ka’Nyah O’Neal led the team with 18 points, Taje Speller dropped a season-high 14 points, Laquisha Woolard picked up 12, Sarah Petty had seven, while Miasia McCall and Chelsy Hemby had three apiece.

In the boys’ game, the Seahawks made a defensive statement. Southside went into the halftime break with a 22-4 lead.

Head coach Davelle Whitney said that Tuesday night was one of the better defensive performances of the season.

“This, actually, was one of the best defensive games we’ve played,” Whitney said after the team’s fourth consecutive victory. “We ran defense well. This is just much-needed confidence for the boys. They’re seeing the ball go in, they’re seeing that I’m telling them the right things to do and that it’s working, now they’re buying into it.”

In the second half, Southside’s junior forward Hundley Stallings had a run out on a fast break. Zach Green pushed the ball up court and Stallings threw down a one-handed jam that got everyone out of their seats.

“That’s the first time I threw one down in a game. I’ve done it plenty of times in practice, but that’s the first time in a game. It felt good. You just see everybody in the stands stand up, you get that energy from the crowd and get into a rhythm,” Stallings said with a grin.

The defense was the key in Tuesday night’s victory, though, and Stallings attested for that.
“Our zone that we run, we switched it up a little bit,” Stallings continued. “We ran it to where we could use our speed and quickness to get steals and turn it into points on the other end. We’re missing a lot of layups and rebound-layups. We have to start getting those.”

Green led the Seahawks with 13 points, Peyton Thompson picked up eight, Ty Smith scored seven, David Albritton tallied six and Isaiah Grimes had five. Kaleb and Aeron Wright also had four points each.

SHOT: Southside’s Peyton Thompson squares up for a shot from the elbow during the Seahawks’ dominant performance against Columbia on Tuesday night. (Mitchell Thomas / Daily News)

The Seahawks (7-8, 3-3 CP1A) will have a big test with Tarboro (11-4, 6-1) traveling to Chocowinity on Friday night.