Southside outlasts Washington

DAVID CUCCHIARA | DAILY NEWS LIMITING MISAKES: Senior Donshae Miller dribbles through a host of Pam Pack guards Thursday night in the Northside Holiday Tournament opening game.

LIMITING MISTAKES: Senior Donshae Miller dribbles through a host of Pam Pack guards Thursday night in the Northside Holiday Tournament opening game.

PINETOWN — Two cross-river rivals met in Pinetown Thursday night to open the boys’ portion of the Northside Holiday Tournament. Despite a close contest through three quarters, Southside managed to pull away in the final minutes and knock off Washington, 81-70.

“The guys were on fire and were really fired up. The shots were falling for us tonight,” said head coach Sean White.

In a battle between two three-guard sets, center Donshae Tatum may have been the difference. The Seahawks’ junior finished with 12 rebounds and 10 points, while drawing defenders to the inside and opening space on the perimeter for his guards.

Shooting guard Rashuan Moore led all scorers with 25 points as a result, hitting four threes and shooting a high percentage from the charity stripe. Senior Donshae Miller, who has taken on more of a role as a game manager in 2014, also had a productive night with 15 points, four rebounds and five assists.

“(Miller) is directing things on the floor a little bit better, which I’ve given him that role,” White said. “The other night he called a timeout without me. He sees those things out there on the floor. He brings that leadership role to the floor. Bringing him up as a sophomore was the right thing to do.”

In the first quarter, however, it was Washington with the advantage, as shooting guard John Whitley and Sayvon Brooks operated the offense efficiently from the perimeter.

But in the second quarter, Tatum finally began to capitalize down low, while Miller and William Adams also contributed offensively. At the break, a couple late free throws gave Southside a 27-26 lead.

“We changed our zone a little bit. Not really a 3-2, but we did move one of the little guys up depending on if the wing was low or high on the weak side. I think that negated some of the three pointers. We were able to get out and contest a little bit more,” White said.

Moore and Washington’s Sharwon Staton came alive in third quarter and led their respective teams in scoring. Staton worked his way through the Southside zone, dropping 13 points, but Moore kept pace with 11 of his own. The lead was inflated with strong play in the paint from Tatum, as Southside outscored Washington, 24-19, in an offensive third quarter.

The scoring continued into the fourth, both teams combining for 55 points, but in the end it was Southside with the advantage. The Seahawks shot 13-for-14 from the line in the final eight minutes, which proved to be the difference in the ballgame.

Staton led the Pam Pack with 19 points, while Whitley notched 17 points. Brooks also finished with 16.

Washington will face Northside in Pinetown on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., while Southside takes on Lawrence at 5 p.m.