Pointers claim D-3 sectional title
JACKSON — If there was ever an example of a microcosm for the South Point Pointers, that would be the Division III sectional championship that saw many ebbs and flows just like their season.
In the end, the “flow” was apparent with the Pointers claiming the sectional championship with a 70-63 win over the Wheelersburg Pirates.
“I couldn’t be more proud of our kids for the way they battled tonight” South Point head coach Travis Wise said. “We have had some ups and downs throughout the season, but to see the hard work this team has put in all week to prepare for this game and play like we did tonight, I am so happy for our team.”
In what was a back and forth battle, South Point (13-8) trailed 47-44 after three quarters, but outscored the Pirates 26-16 in the final frame. South Point’s senior guard Elijah Adams hit two three’s and went 3-4 from the free-throw line to score nine of his 18 total points in the fourth.
“This is a great win for us, being able to stay poised, make our free-throws and now move on is unbelievable” Adams said. “We had a bunch of guys make big plays tonight. On to the next one.”
Sophomore guard Tayshawn Fox was 6-6 at the line and junior Jared Whitt added five points to help the Pointers pull away.
Wheelersburg (14-6) led 60-59 with 1:34 to go in the fourth quarter, but the Pointers showed poise on offense and took the lead for good with an Adams three and played solid defense forcing three straight Pirates turnovers. Fox, Adams and senior Logan Wade combined for 8-9 from the line down the stretch.
Those ebbs and flows started before any time ran off the clock when South Point was assessed a technical foul in the pregame and faced a one-point deficit after Wheelersburg’s Kaden Coleman hit one of two free throws.
Tanner Holden added a bucket on jumper on the alternating possession for the Pirates, but Cody Runyon canned a three to tie the score 3-3 within the first minute of the game to set up what would would be a see-saw game until the final minute.
The Pirates led 12-8 after the first quarter with Coleman scoring seven of his game-high 27 points. He was 13-19 from the free-throw line.
The Pointers clawed back to take a five-point lead with 3:14 to go in the first half on a up-and-under layup by Fox, but the Pirates did the same with Coleman being fouled and hit both free-throws to make the score 25-23 in favor of South Point.
In the third quarter, both teams found their rhythm with the Pirates outscoring South Point 24-19. Cole Lowery hit 3-4 from behind the arc in the third, Coleman added nine points and Holden four.
But South Point kept pace with Whitt hitting two-three’s and scoring eight of his 13 points in the third. Fox added another eight to set up the final period.
“It is my job to get our shooters involved and be a pass-first player, and only look to score when my team needs me to” Fox said. “Elijah and Jared hit big three’s, we hit free-throws when we needed them and our defense was good taking a bunch of charges.”
South Point moves on to the district semi-finals next Sunday at 3:45 p.m. at Ohio University’s Convocation Center against fellow OVC team Portsmouth who defeated North Adams 50-43 Saturday.
South Point 8 17 19 26 = 70
Wheelersburg 12 11 24 16 = 63