Story by Jim Winget
The Southwood boys basketball team traveled to Peru Saturday, coming off a big win over Manchester Friday night. The Knights led most of the way, but with perhaps tired legs from the night before fell short to Peru 53-51.
The Tigers struck first with just 3 seconds off the clock with a Travis Smith driving layup off the tip, followed by a steal and another layup to go up 4-0 with less than 30 seconds off the clock. The Knights started cold from the floor, but the defense held them close forcing turn overs before Connor Hobbs hit two free throws to get the Knights on the board with 3:20 to go. Smith hit another layup to put the Tigers up 6-2. Sexton Boggs drained a three to draw the Knights within 2, followed by a Jackson Blair three to take the lead with 45 seconds remaining. Southwood led 8-7 after one.
Peru would strike first in the second quarter, but again the Knight defense would keep them close and then take the lead 13-11 on another Blair three. Blair would then convert the rare four point play, hitting a three and the free throw to put the Knights up 17-11. Peru would score the next three buckets and tied the score at 17 with 1:30 to go. The two teams would trade blows in a wild last 1 1/2 minutes and Southwood led 24-23 at the half.
Levi Winget would start the scoring in the second half, but Peru answered with back to back layups to take a one point lead with 6:45 on the clock. Grant Keaffaber would hit next, but the Tigers answered. Both defenses tightened for a two minute span before Winget hits on back to back drives to give the Knights a three point lead. An intentional foul was called on Hobbs, giving Peru two shots and the ball. The Tigers converted and tied the game. Hobbs would answer with a layup to put the Knights back up by two with 2:47 left. After a Peru free throw, Keaffaber found an open Jackson Blair under the bucket to put them up 3 with 1:55 to go. The Tigers scored and then Winget answered with back to back layups again to put the Knights up 40-35 after three.
Peru hit the first two buckets of the final frame, drawing to within a point at 40-39. Blair hits again and the Knights are up one with six minutes to play. Two rebound baskets by Primerand and a Smith bucket gave the Tigers a three point lead with 3:40 to play. A Hobbs free throw and a Boggs three would tie the game with 3:33 to go. Smith would air mail a three and after a Winget free throw Peru led by two. The Knight defense stepped it up and Keaffaber stole the ball and called time out with 56 seconds remaining. After a couple missed bombs by the Knights, Peru broke loose for a layup with 26 seconds left to go up four. Southwood fouls with Smith hitting one free throw to open a five point lead , folowed by a Winget three, but it wasn’t enough as the Tigers held on for the 53-51 score.
The Knights were led by Levi Winget with 16 points. Jackson Blair had 14, Sexton Boggs had 11, Connor Hobbs had 8 and Grant Keaffaber had 4.