Monday, February 6, 2023

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Southern Patriots notch best basketball start in eight years

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By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

Across the first seven nights of its season, the Southern Alamance boys’ basketball team experienced plenty of drama.

And three victories, too.

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“We’re just plugging away,” Southern coach Chris Miller said. “Playing great defense, that’s the key for us.”

After defeating Graham on Monday night, Southern held a 3-0 record for the first time in eight years.

Guard Harrison Watson and center Nathan Teague are three-year starters. The Patriots could be getting more in tune because four players on the roster were late arrivals for the season because they were on the school’s football team that reached the third round of the state playoffs.

The impressive opening stretch began with last week’s 45-44 victory at Eastern Alamance. The Patriots had to hold on after building an eight-point lead. Watson’s 15 points and Teague’s 10 points paced that outcome.

Friday night’s 52-44 triumph at Western Alamance was far from ordinary. The Patriots wiped out a 19-point hole, racking up a 24-3 fourth-quarter edge. The game ended with Southern on a 15-1 run across the last 5½ minutes.

Teague got Southern the lead and Watson’s 3-pointer and drive for a basket were clutch plays down the stretch. Teague posted 16 points, Gage Martin poured in 15 points, and Watson had 10.

Nathan Teague

Miller said it was encouraging how the Patriots handled tough road environments to begin the schedule.

In the home opener against Graham, the Patriots had another solid finish in a 73-48 victory. Teague scored 22, Jordan Moore had 18, and Martin finished with 11.

There’s an Eastern-Southern rematch Friday night in Mt. Hermon, where a capacity crowd is anticipated after a full gym for the first encounter at Eastern.

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