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Strong first half propels South Point to sectional title

PEDRO — A role reversal didn’t change the outcome.

Early in the season, the South Point Pointers beat the Northwest Mohawks thanks to a strong second half.

The Pointers gave an opposite performance Saturday but came away with a 50-36 win over the Mohawks to capture the Division III sectional championship.

“We played them early in the year and it was pretty much the same except the halves were reversed,” Pointers coach Gary Norris said.

“We ran our offense the first half but we got in a hurry in the second half. We were fortunate to have a lead. But it was a nice win and we’re happy to move on.”

Thanks to the 3-point shooting of Chase McWhorter and Chris Brown, the Pointers were able to jump all over Northwest for a 17-4 lead at the end of the first quarter.

McWhorter knocked down three shots from beyond the arc and Brown had two more as the duo combined for 5 of 6 shooting from long range.

Northwest scored the first two goals of the second quarter to make it 17-8, but McWhorter banked home a trey from the top of the key and the lead was 20-8.

A pair of layups by Beau Weed opened up a 28-10 lead with 1:13 left in the half and Joey Stevens added a layup at the buzzer to give South Point a 30-10 halftime cushion.

But the Pointers’ shooting struggled in the second half as they went 3 of 12 from the field in the third quarter and failed to connect on four attempts in the fourth quarter.

However, South Point did make 12 of 17 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter when Northwest was forced to foul.

A 3-pointer by Stefan Spriggs got Northwest within 34-23 in the third quarter but a layup by Heath Bridges at the buzzer gave South Point a 38-23 lead.

The Mohawks tried to chip away in the fourth quarter and cut the deficit to 44-36 with 1:23 left on a putback by Derek Lilly.

South Point sealed the Mohawks fate by sinking their last nine free throws including two each by Zach Woody, Chase Kratzenberg and McWhorter over the final 48 seconds.

“Our defense was still relatively good in the middle of the third quarter and in the fourth quarter. Some of our guys got a little tired and they did a good job coming back,” said Norris.

“We didn’t take care of the ball in the fourth quarter. The last three minutes we got in a hurry.”

McWhorter led the Pointers with 18 points with Brown scoring 13. Stevens yanked down 10 rebounds, Woody 9 and McWhorter 6. Weed had 6 steals.

Bo Wilson scored 13 for Northwest (8-12).

South Point (14-6) will play Oak Hill at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday at Ohio University in the first round of the district tournament.