HomeNewsSouth Side wins region championship amid change of venue in second quarter

South Side wins region championship amid change of venue in second quarter

HENDERSON – It was Brent McNeal’s goal when he put his basketball team’s schedule together last year to give his players the chance to experience as much adversity on the court as possible to prepare them for later challenges.

McNeal and the South Side girls’ basketball team – along with their opponents from South Gibson – had the opportunity to overcome a different kind of adversity on Wednesday during their Region 6-3A championship.

At the end of the game, the Lady Hawks passed the test from the adversity, winning 71-33 to claim the championship and a home game in sectionals on Saturday.

“I’m so proud of them for not letting anything off the court affect them,” McNeal said after the game.

With 4:31 remaining in the second quarter, officials stopped the game and had a conference with both coaches and representatives from host school Chester County near midcourt. There was a leak in the gym roof that was causing a constant puddle on the court on South Side’s end of the sideline between half court and the top of the key.

There was discussion of leaving and coming back on Thursday to finish the game before the boys’ region championship between South Gibson and Chester County, but officials checked with nearby Freed-Hardeman University about the possibility of moving the game down the street and finish on Wednesday.

FHU athletics administrative officials allowed them to come in, and the teams finished the game after a delay of about 50 minutes.

“We just talked to them about staying locked in,” McNeal said about the conversation during the delay, which was about 10 minutes in Chester County’s gym and then a bus ride less than a half-mile away to FHU. “Sometimes things happen that we don’t expect, and this was one of those circumstances.

 “Things like that happen in life, and we just need to be ready for that.”

When the change of venue happened, South Side was up 30-19. Both teams had about 10 minutes to warm back up before taking the court again.

By the time halftime rolled around, the Lady Hawks extended their lead to 49-22, outscoring the Lady Hornets 19-3 in that 4:31.

Because they’d just had the long break, halftime was cut from its usual 10-minute break to three.

The Lady Hawks continued to pour on the defense in the third quarter, getting to the mercy-rule running clock late in the period for a 64-27 lead before getting to the final score with the 38-point win.

Jaidynn Askins led the Lady Hawks with 24 points. Albany Collins finished with 21.

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost

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