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Rams’ second chance points doom Southside

Francis Marion made a living on offensive rebounding and second chance shots to beat Southside 55-43 on Friday.

The Rams were often perfectly positioned to follow up on m issed shots. As a result, they finished with 12 putbacks on the night.

“You can’t coach that,” said Southside coach Cedric Brown. “We got outrebounded. It was a case of right place, right time.”

The Rams held the advantage for most of the opening period to take a 14-12 lead into the second stanza. A Javier Sullivan 3-pointer gave the Panthers their second — and last — lead of the night at 15-14.

From there, Francis Marion went on a 9-0 run triggered by a Ken Billingsley tip-in to earn a 27-17 lead. A Mario Oliver 3-pointer and Bartavious Hall layup trimmed the Panthers’ deficit to 29-22 at the half.

Much to Francis Marion coach Lee Hollis’s disgust, his players relaxed in the third period. Southside (7-14) responded with a 13-4 run capped by a Hall 3-point play to cut the Rams’ lead to 36-35.

“I feel like my players have a tendency to relax a lot,” said Hollis. “We played a good first and second quarter, but only played half of the third. Once we play four full quarters, we’re going to be a good team.”

The Rams recovered from the lapse with a 13-2 highlighted by three putback to open the final period to extend the lead to 49-37 and secure the win.

“They did what we wanted to do — control the ball on offense,” said Brown.

Jerome Smith led Francis Marion (10-10) with 20 points and Ladarius Tabb added 16.

Hall led the Panthers with 13 points and Montraveos Cooper finished with six.