FORT WAYNE – The South Side girls basketball team quickly dispatched of Jay County in the season opener and turned its attention toward game No. 2 and a chance for revenge.
The Archers took a huge early lead and cruised to a 67-27 home win over the Patriots on Tuesday.
We were anticipating this kind of game, and our focus was to make sure my girls didn’t lose interest or that passion or that fire all the way through, South Side coach Juanita Goodwell said. It could have been better at times. It was what we were prepared for. We knew what Jay County had coming back. They were starting anew, and we knew what could happen. Tonight was a great start. I saw a lot of good things.
Class 4A No. 5 South Side plays host to No. 7 Penn on Friday. The Kingsmen have beaten the Archers the last three years. South Side is No. 3 in the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association single-class poll, the highest ranking in school history.
That (ranking) does give our girls confidence, but for the coaches this is our true measure of where we are at this time, Goodwell said of playing Penn. That is our tester, and that’s how we word it at this point. We are going to do everything we can to get that done.
Goodwell has never beaten the Kingsmen in four seasons with the Archers. Penn handed South Side its only regular-season loss (62-51) last year.
It’s going to be a tough game, South Side senior Ariana Simmons said. This time, we are going to come out ready to play, keep on pushing and not let them get the win.
South Side forced 33 turnovers and held Jay County to 9-of-31 shooting. Ariana Simmons led the Archers with 19 points, and DeJoyah Johnson and Chelsea Rogers added 14 and 10.
This game was a great motivation to keep us rolling and try to get all the wins we can, Simmons said. We just came out and said we weren’t going to let them score.