BELPRE, Ohio — A great start means nothing if you can’t follow it up.
The Southern boys basketball team scored the first 12 points of Friday night’s Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division showdown at Belpre, but the host Golden Eagles forced 30 turnovers in the game and came back to take a 62-57 victory.
The Tornadoes (3-16, 3-11 TVC Hocking) had their early 12-point advantage trimmed to nine points, 18-9, by the end of the opening stanza. Belpre (11-9, 9-5) outscored the Purple and Gold by a 21-to-9 tally in the second quarter, giving the Golden Eagles a 30-27 lead at halftime.
BHS edged Southern by a 15-to-14 margin in the third quarter and a 17-to-16 clip in the fourth, capping off the 62-57 victory.
SHS junior Tylar Blevins led the guests with 23 points, followed by Trey Pickens with 10 and Crenson Rogers with nine. Blake Johnson scored six points, Dylan Smith added five, while Clayton Wood and Eli Hunter rounded out the Tornado scoring with two points each.
Southern made 16-of-22 (72.7 percent) free throw attempts and 17-of-51 (33.3 percent) field goal tries, including 7-of-22 (31.8 percent) three-point attempts. As a team the Tornadoes recorded 28 rebounds, seven assists, five steals, one blocked shot and 30 turnovers.
Belpre was led by Deijon Bedgood with 23 points and Tavian Miller with 16, while Bailey Sprague marked eight points and Mythius Houghton with seven. Nathan Mason and Ethan Williams rounded out the BHS scoring with five and three points respectively.
The Orange and Black shot 19-of-33 (57.6 percent) from the free throw line and 21-of-53 (39.6 percent) from the field, including 1-of-12 (8.3 percent) from beyond the arc. Collectively, the Golden Eagles marked 34 rebounds, seven assists, 19 steals, two rejections and 15 turnovers.
BHS also defeated Southern on January 5, by a 68-57 count in Racine.
Southern returns to the hardwood on Tuesday, when Miller visits Meigs County. The Tornadoes topped the Falcons by a 55-50 final in their first encounter of the year, on January 8 in Hemlock.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.