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Ellis, No. 5 Dallas County turn back Southside in rivalry contest

Dallas County relied on its best player to hold off Southside.

Guard Darrius Ellis scored 27 points and made 10 assists as the fifth-ranked Hornets prevailed 67-56 on Friday at Southside Gymnasium.

The Hornets, ranked fifth in Class 5A, improved to 10-2 with the hard-fought victory.

“Dallas County and Southside is a rivalry game, you always want to beat your rivals,” Ellis said.

Southside’s All Dallas County backcourt duo of Chris Thomas and Tae Spears, Ellis’ AAU teammates, shined in defeat. Thomas scored 20 points, while Spears added 18 points off the bench.

The game was tied at 49 after Tre Towns’ three-point play with four minutes left in regulation.

Dallas County, however, closed the game with 6-0 run as Ellis scored all three Hornets points on layups. The Panthers never threatened again.

In the first quarter, it looked like Dallas County was headed toward a rout. The Hornets raced out to a 21-7 lead until Spears’ thunderous dunk at the buzzer ignited the Panthers and their jubilant fanbase.

The Panthers trailed 30-27 at halftime and challenged until the end.

Southside girls 35, Dallas County 25: Caliyah Donaldson scored 10 points and six assists to lead the Lady Panthers (9-2) in a low-scoring contest.

Kim’MIsha McGhee led the Lady Hornets with 11 points.

The game was tied at eight after one quarter. Southside outscored the Lady Hornets 14-2 in the second quarter to lead 22-10 at halftime. The Lady Panthers’ defense forced Dallas County into 1 of 10 shooting and seven turnovers to take control of the game.