Dallas County's Markell Harris (14) looks for an open teammate while Southside's Sammarkus Jones defends during Thursday's game in Plantersville. -- Robert Hudson

No. 2 DCHS beats SHS in thrilling final meeting of the season

Published 12:32am Friday, January 25, 2013

PLANTERSVILLE — With an ending befitting the final meeting of the season between two heated rivals, the No. 2 Dallas County Hornets defeated the Southside Panthers 61-59 in a non-area contest on Thursday.

Willie Moore, head boys basketball coach of Dallas County (20-5, 5-1, ranked No. 2 in Class 4A), said the Hornets were able to pull out the win, despite losing the rebounding battle.

“We were very fortunate tonight. Southside had a really good game plan. They closed the ball game down, controlled the tempo the entire ball game,” Moore said. “They beat us up on the glass tonight, and that’s the first time that’s happened to us even when we’ve lost. We made our free throws tonight. We had been shooting 44 percent from the free throw line, so we were very fortunate to come out with the win tonight.”

Southside (16-8, 4-2) led 55-52 after a jumper by Jeffery Mack with 2:22 left in the fourth, but the Panthers were called for a technical foul that sent Dallas County’s Keyonis Phillips to the line, who missed one before teammate Markell Harris hit the next two shots to cut the Hornets’ deficit to 55-54 with 1:15 remaining.

With the Hornets in the bonus, Harris went to the line again and hit two more to give Dallas County a 56-55 lead, but Mack hit a shot in the lane to put Southside back up 57-56 with 45 seconds left.

The next Hornets possession, Southside’s Je’von Hall deflected the ball off Dallas County’s Jerrod Moorer, as it went out of bounds to give the Panthers the ball with 35 seconds left.

Mack went to the line and hit two free throws to make it 59-56, as the Hornets fouled to put Southside in the bonus with 31 seconds.

The Hornets got the ball and the Southside defense was drawn into the lane, as Dallas County kicked it outside to a wide-open Harris, who buried a 3-pointer to tie the game at 59-59 with 11 seconds to play.

Sammarkus Jones tried to inbound the ball, but it was deflected, as Phillips got it for the Hornets after a scramble at half court and passed it to Chad Martin before he got it to Harris, who was fouled and sent to the line with a chance to win it with 2.9 seconds left.

Harris hit both free throws to give the Hornets a 61-59 lead.

The Panthers got the ball in, but couldn’t get a shot off before the buzzer sounded.

Cedric Brown, head boys basketball coach of Southside, questioned the officiating after the loss.

“Last few seconds, we wanted to get the ball in to Jeffery Mack. It was a deflection on the inbounds, they came up with the steal, and the last 2.9 [seconds], officiating just steps in the game,” Brown said. “Good game thus far, officiating steps in. But I just say this, I really don’t bash officiating, but there’s no room in the game for heroes. The game is to be played by the kids. It’s as simple as that.”

Moorer led Dallas County with 23 points, including four 3-pointers, while William Lee had 13 points, Martin had 11 points, and Harris had 10 points for the Hornets.

Mack led Southside with 17 points, while Jones had 12 points, and Octavius Gulley and Hall each had 10 points for the Panthers.

The game went back and forth, particularly in the first and fourth quarters, as there were six ties and ten lead changes on the night.

Southside had trailed throughout the second half until Hall hit back-to-back threes to tie the game at 51-51 with 4:49 left in the fourth before Gulley scored in the paint to give the Panthers a 53-51 lead with 3:19 left.


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