Southside girls season ends in Chatham County

Published 3:36 pm Thursday, March 2, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Southside senior Ka’Nyah O’Neal’s record-setting career at Southside High School ended Tuesday night in Siler City as the Seahawks lost, 70-53, to Chatham Charter in the fourth round of the 1A state basketball tournament.

The seventh-seeded Seahawks tied the game several times in the first half, but never led.

“They were faster and ran the floor better than we did and that was the difference in the game,” coach Milton Ruffin said. “We used a lot of energy to tie the game, then couldn’t hold them off. I still think we had a great season. The girls never quit and gave great effort, not only in the last game, but all season.”

The seventh-seeded Seahawks finished the year 25-7, while the third-seeded Knights (25-5) advanced to the East regional finals against top-seeded and undefeated Falls Lake Academy Saturday afternoon at South Johnston High School.

O’Neal closed her Southside career with 27 points and 10 rebounds,

Her 939 points this season are the seventh-most in one season in girls state history and her 2,426 points rank her 18th among the state’s all-time scorers. Her point total this year is the sixth most by a senior in state history and she’s 28th among all-time rebounders with 1,079.

She is the 13th girls player to score more than 2,000 points and grab more than 1,000 rebounds in a career.

“Her career is one for the memory book for sure,” Ruffin said. “She faced a box and one, a double team or another kind of defense almost her entire career and just put the team on her shoulders. She proved that she’s one of the best players in the East this year and hopefully some big schools will notice what’s she’s done.

I’d also like to thank our athletic director, Andre Quinerly and our principal Justin Holt for their support this season. My assistant coaches Lee, Burgess and Whitehurst have been a huge help as have our team parents. Our fans were great also. We had a great atmosphere for home games this year and it really meant a lot to our team.”