Southside girls fall to Fort Payne 37-27


Fort Payne’s Lexi Stover and Southside’s Molly Tucker fight for possession during Friday night’s game. (Photo by Nick Johnston | Gadsden Times)


SOUTHSIDE — Offensive struggles in the second half doomed Southside in a 37-27 loss to Fort Payne in Class 5A, Area 10 girls high school basketball Friday.

The Panthers (15-6) could not hold on to a 16-12 halftime lead, making just two field goals in the final two quarters. The Wildcats weren’t much better offensively in the game, managing just enough offense to rally and win.

“Sometimes you can get shots and open looks, but you’ve got to put them in the hole,” Southside coach Kim Nails said. “Tonight they just weren’t falling. Anytime you hold a good team to 37 points that’s a low score for a high school game, but you have to make more than they do.”

Both teams started cold on offense. Southside’s first field goal, a 3-pointer by Haley Troup, put Southside up 5-2 with just over 4:00 left in the first quarter. Karri McKissack hit a layup to push the Panther edge to 7-2, before Fort Payne scored the next five points to tie it at 7. Molly Tucker hit a short jumper with under 10 seconds left to give Southside a  two-point lead after one quarter.

Neither team got much of an offensive flow going in the second quarter, either. Sydney D’Eath’s 3-point play put the Panthers up 13-9, before the Wildcats (10-15) scored three straight to cut it to 13-12. Troup’s 3-pointer with 1:00 left before halftime gave Southside a four-point advantage at the break.

Fort Payne finally managed to show some offensive life in the third quarter. A layup by Kennington Nolan finished a 9-2 run to start the quarter and put the Wildcats ahead 20-18, their first lead of the contest. Fort Payne lead 23-19 entering the final quarter.

Fort Payne gradually extended its lead in the final frame. After a Peyton Lacey bucket and a pair of free throws by Lexi Stover, the Wildcats went up 27-19.

McKissack hit two free throws to cut into the Fort Payne lead to 27-21, but that was as close as Southside got in the final quarter.

Troup and McKissack each scored eight points to lead the Panthers. Reese Stiefel had eight points for Fort Payne. Lacey and Stover tallied seven points apiece.