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The Journal Gazette

Friday, January 19, 2018 9:40 pm

South Side girls fight off Carroll

AUBREE REICHEL | The Journal Gazette

The fight has returned to the South Side girls basketball team.

The Archers came into Friday night's game against Carroll having lost four of their last five, three against opponents ranked in the top 10.

South Side did just enough in the fourth quarter to come out with a 70-67 win over the visiting Chargers.

"Right now, what I need for them to acknowledge is that they found their fight again," coach Juanita Goodwell said. "We lost that, that team, the last couple weeks, and the team that got us 15-0 came back tonight to finish that game."

The Archers (17-4, 7-1 SAC) led by as much as 59-37 with 1:40 left in the third quarter.

The Chargers (14-6, 4-4) began whittling down the lead by kicking their defense into a higher gear, forcing turnovers and getting buckets in transition. The 22-point South Side lead became a 65-65 tie with 1:23 left in the game, a 28-6 run with Carroll going 12 of 14 from the free-throw line.

"Carroll was just playing better defense," Goodwell said. "They collapsed on the inside and we didn't handle that adjustment very well and we just didn't play patiently on the offensive end. That allowed them to come back, hit 3s and in transition, we didn't match up, we left shooters open and we were getting out on the shooters and they were getting to the basket. It was a combination of things but they stepped up their game and we stopped ours."

The Archers led 24-12 after the first quarter and 43-25 at the half, thanks to 13 first-half points from Jaci Jones.

South Side maintained its substantial lead before Carroll's big push.

"This was a tough game," South Side senior Taniece Chapman said. "I didn't think this game was going to be like this. We just had to play through it, work hard and fight that battle. Carroll gave us a good challenge but we had to accept that challenge and we did what we could to get the win."

The game was a rematch of the SAC Holiday Tournament championship where South Side won 83-74.

With just two games left before sectionals, the Archers know that games will only be getting more difficult.

"It was very important (to prove the tournament championship wasn't a fluke)," Mikeba Jones said. "We just had to listen to what our coaches said, don't play selfish, play team ball and be disciplined.

"We (kept our poise). I think it was a matter of who wanted it more and I think, at the end, we wanted it. We wanted to come out here, play hard, for each other."

Jones finished with a team-high 16 points, Chapman added 15, Shamari Jackson 14 and Mikeba Jones, in her third game back from injury, had 12.

Kelli Damman scored 19 and Alyssa Kimes had 13 for the Chargers.

"It's definitely a wake-up call," Chapman said. "We just know we have to step our game up and when we're up like that, we can't let teams come back like that. We have to sit back on defense, play disciplined defense, we have to work together and make sure we're doing all we could to keep our score going up and stop our opponents."