Panthers rally to advance

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 20, 2005

The Southside High School Panthers were almost too good for their own good Friday night.

The Panthers overcame a case of brashness Friday to beat the Tallassee Tigers, 71-60, at the Southside High gym.

Southside, the state’s top-ranked Class 4A team, advances to the Class 4A state quarterfinals on Wednesday at Troy University. The Panthers will face Hillcrest Evergreen. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.

Email newsletter signup

“We were overconfident and too relaxed,” Southside coach Velton Robinson said. “But we learned from this team. You can’t take anyone lightly.”

The Panthers found themselves in a tie game after three periods, but finally grabbed the lead on a Fontano Watters three-pointer and another bucket by Tim Sanders to take a 57-52 advantage.

With the Panthers leading 59-56, Jerome Jones tried to inch the Tigers even closer. But Jones’ shot was blocked by Southside junior center Jeffery Anderson.

At the other end of the floor, Anderson completed the four-point shift with an offensive rebound and tip-in to put the Panthers ahead 61-56.

Watters sealed the win for Southside when he stole the Tigers’ inbound pass and sent a no-look pass to forward Deonta Williams for an easy bucket.

“We were overconfident,” Anderson said after the win. “But we won’t let another close game like this happen again.”

Anderson and his teammates backed up that promise in the second half. After trailing for the entire game, Southside finally took its first lead in the third period.

After the Panthers grabbed a one-point lead, 36-35, Travis Shine dropped in a three-pointer to increase the margin to four, 39-35.

Tallassee’s Desmond Washington answered with a bucket of his own, followed by another basket by Jones to tie the game at 39.

A Jacob Thornton lay-up and Washington’s 15-foot jumper put the Tigers ahead 43-39.

Anderson got the Panthers back in the game with a nifty power move for a basket, followed by a dish to Shine for another score that once again tied the game.

Anderson paced the Panthers with 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Watters chipped in 19 points and three rebounds.