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FORT SMITH -- With the second half of the 7A-Central conference schedule underway, Fort Smith Southside has begun to make a push toward its first postseason berth since 2012.

The Mavericks scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, including an 11-4 spurt in the final four minutes, to rally past Conway 59-52 in boys action Friday night at Southside Gym.

Southside (11-11, 3-5) trailed 43-38 going into the final quarter, but a seven-point spurt in a 90-second span turned a tied game into a 55-48 lead with 1:37 left.

"During timeouts, we told the kids to hang in there and keep plugging," Mavericks Coach Charles Cooper said. "I thought everyone that played tonight contributed in some form or fashion. Whether it was guys hitting threes, guys penetrating and getting the ball to Dylan [Hamilton] down low or making a big defensive stop. It was a total group effort."

With the game tied at 48-48, Hamilton scored in the lane for a 50-48 lead with 3:03 left. After a defensive stop, Ike Moore drained a three-pointer with 1:58 left. After a Conway miss, Moore drove into the lane for a basket at 1:37 for the cushion Southside needed to hang on for the win.

"Moore's layup was a big basket for us," Cooper said. "It got the lead to seven points, and I felt then that we would finish this one."

Conway (13-8, 4-4) had taken a 43-38 lead when Blake Bradshaw put back a miss at the buzzer to end the third quarter. The Wampus Cats made only three field goals in the final period.

"Down the stretch, we had great looks inside and we could not finish for whatever reason," Conway Coach Brian Longing said. "We just could not get enough stops in the fourth quarter on defense. We were having to match them possession for possession and when we stopped, they took the lead and never looked back."

Moore scored 16 to pace Southside. Hamilton scored 13, including seven in the fourth quarter, while Taye Gatewood added 10. Kylen Milton scored a game-high 20 points for Conway.

CONWAY (52)

Milton 8 4-5 20, Bradshaw 7 1-2 15, Lowe 4 0-0 9, Thompson 2 0-0 5, Kaiser 1 0-0 2, Clardy 0 1-2 1. Totals 22 6-9 52.

FS SOUTHSIDE (59)

Moore 6 2-2 16, Hamilton 6 1-1 13, Gatewood 3 4-8 10, Coleman 3 0-0 7, Jackson 2 0-0 6, Brewer 2 0-0 4, Solomon 1 1-2 3. Totals 23 8-13 59.

Conway (13-8) 11 15 17 9 -- 52

FS Southside (11-11) 17 9 12 21 -- 59

Three-point goals -- Conway 2 (Lowe, Thompson), Southside 5 (Moore 2, Jackson 2, Coleman). Team fouls -- Northside 15, Southside 12.

Sports on 02/03/2018

Print Headline: Southside in position to bust postseason drought

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