Seahawks sweep Panthers, O’Neal recognized

Published 10:38 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2023

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Southside’s boys and girls basketball teams completed a regular season sweep of county rival Northside Tuesday night at Southside.

The girls (17-4, 5-1) jumped out to a 19-2 lead over a frigid-shooting Northside squad that didn’t convert a basket until almost halfway through the second quarter.

Southside led 36-15 at halftime, then survived a 20-point fourth quarter from the Panthers (12-5, 2-4) for the final margin.

“The kids were fired up and ready to play right after school got out,” coach Milton Ruffin said. “It’s not only a rivalry win, it helps us with conference and state tournament seeding. We played hard and I’m happy with the win.”

O’Neal led the way with 29 points and 20 rebounds after school athletic officials presented her with a basketball commemorating her 2,000th career point.

“It’s cool to score 2,000 points, but I’m glad it’s over,” she said. “We can focus on playing our best basketball the rest of the way and get ready for the state tournament.”

Southside’s boys used a strong second half to win, 64-54 after trailing 35-31 at halftime.

Senior Manvonte Deloach poured in 19 of his game-high 29 points after the break to lead three Seahawks in double figures.

“It was just athletes being athletes,” coach Davelle Whitney said. “It wasn’t anything magical, our guys just played better in the second half. When he

(Deloach) gest six our eight points, we usually get blown out. When he gets 25 or 30, we win. There’s a good chance we’ll see Northside again in the conference tournament, but it was good to get the win tonight.

Tequon (Tater) Moore added 13 points for Southside, while Elgin Stilley had 10.

Junior post player Tate Gibbs led the Panthers (5-14, 0-6) with 15 points.