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Golden Rockets upset South Point

ATHENS – Sometimes the best lessons are the hardest to learn.

Friday, February 23, 2001

ATHENS – Sometimes the best lessons are the hardest to learn. The South Point Pointers got a tournament lesson they didn’t want Thursday night when they were upset 57-53 by the Wellston Golden Rockets in the Division III sectional tournament opening round.

South Point, seeded fourth, shot just 19-of-59 from the field for 32.2 percent. Leading scorers Shane Holsinger and Jarred Perdue scored well below their season averages with 11 and eight points, respectively.

"Every time we get in a tournament game we learn a lesson. Unfortunately, we learned a tough lesson tonight. We had the four seed and it was great, but we didn’t play well. No matter how high the seed, you have to play well," Points coach Mark Lafon said.

"The effort was great physically, but mentally we had too many breakdowns."

Wellston (8-13) was able to break the Pointers press and get the ball inside for layups as they advanced to Saturday’s title game against Waverly.

Center Josh Davis had 18 points and nine rebounds while Eric Snyder came off the bench to scored 13 points for Wellston. Brant Derrow added 10 points.

"All week we said over and over their focus is inside. We had to get off the non-shooters and help and we didn’t," Lafon said. "They got it down low and it was one-on-one."

Bryan Maggard had 15 points and 13 rebounds to pace South Point which finished 13-8. Willie Anderson and Holsinger had eight rebounds and Perdue pulled down seven.

Wellston led almost the entire first half.

It was 12-9 after the first quarter, but a 3-pointer by Wilson Ehirim put the Pointers up 16-14 at the 6:39 mark. The lead changed hands three times and was tied four times until Snyder’s layup put Wellston up 26-24.

A layup by Anderson got the Pointers within 29-28 with about two minutes to go in the half, but then Wellston went on an 8-0 run to finish the half to lead 37-28 at the break.

South Point used a follow up by Maggard to begin the second half and a steal and layup by Holsinger to make it 37-32. Davis hit a short jumper in the lane to put Wellston up 39-32 with 4:15 on the clock.

It was the only two points of the quarter for Wellston and South Point scored eight unanswered points including two foul shots by Anderson to take a 40-39 lead just before the end of the quarter.

Tel Thacker’s layup and a baseline jumper by Dusty Fultz gave Wellston the lead. Perdue’s layup and a two more foul shots by Anderson put South Point up 44-43 with 5:21 left.

Davis hit a 3-pointer but Justin Eaches answered for the Pointers with his own 3-point and South Point had its final lead at 47-46 with 4:13 left.

The Golden Rockets then broke the press that resulted in three straight layups by Snyder and the lead was now 52-47 with 1:32 left.

"We had to press them, and we had everyone in the right place, we just didn’t rotate and they hurt us," Lafon said.

Eaches drained another 3-pointer with 1:18 left, but the Pointers were forced to foul and Wellston converted 5-of-6 down the stretch including two by Davis with four seconds to play that sealed the win.