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Keith defeats Southside for title

Keith knocked off Southside 55-45 to clinch the Keith Christmas Tournament championship on Wednesday.

“I think we did overall a great job throughout the tournament,” said Keith coach Tommy Tisdale. “Anytime you can get a win, it’s a confidence boost. From the looks of things, we’re probably going to come around sooner than later.”

The Bears didn’t start as well as hoped. They trailed the Panthers 14-10 after a quarter, but fought back to earn a 28-22 lead at the half. Southside trimmed its deficit to 37-36 after three, but Keith pulled away in the fourth quarter for the win.

“We kind of got out of our groove,” said Southside coach Cedric Brown. “We got away from what got us there. We missed layups and putbacks. That’s really what kind of hurt us.”

Gerald Matthews led Keith with 14 points. Rodney Ellis finished with 11 and Dwan Lewis added 10.

DeMarcus Smith was Southside’s leading scorer with 14 points and Laquentin Gunn chipped in nine.