The District 5 Class A champions, Southern Fulton met the top seed from District 12, the Constitution Generals. Southern Fulton lost 75-48.
COLONIAL PARK - Playoffs aren't supposed to be easy.
But they were especially difficult for Southern Fulton's boys basketball team Tuesday night.
The Indians faced the two-time defending state champion in the second round of the PIAA Class A playoffs, and Constitution proved just why it is the top dog. After a back-and-forth first half, the Generals took off in the third quarter and went on to claim a 75-48 victory.
"All the things we needed to do to win that game, we didn't do," SF coach Kent Hendershot said. "We had far too many turnovers and far too many mistakes. To beat a team like that, we had to play mistake-free ball and really bear down and execute. We did at times, but we didn't put 32 minutes together."
In the first quarter, it looked like it was going to go the way most people predicted with Constitution (18-11) putting on an onslaught.
After eight minutes, it was Generals 20, Southern Fulton 9.
Slowly but surely, the Indians started to creep back in it. They outscored Constitution 21-14 in the second quarter and even pulled within a point before a Tamir Green 3-pointer at the buzzer put the Generals up 34-31 at the break.
"That last shot helped, but they had to be confident going into halftime," Constitution coach Robert Moore said. "They handled everything we gave them in the first half, so I told my guys that if we didn't make a push in the beginning of the third, we would be fighting an uphill battle in the fourth quarter."
Whatever Moore said must've worked. The Generals played their best basketball in the third quarter and got a serious boost from Tyree Mitchell, who scored 10 of his 18 points during the frame.
But it was their defense that was especially tough for SF, which was held to only one field goal in the third quarter. Nine of the Indians' 17 turnovers also came during the third.
"In the second quarter, we finally started to break their pressure, so we got some fastbreak plays," Indian guard Carl Potter said. "Not turning it over really helped, too. But in the third, we did the exact opposite, and that was what put us in the hole.
"We shot the ball pretty well (40.5% from the field), but with all those turnovers, you can't get as many shots as you want."
Southern Fulton's Dylan Gordon finished with a double-double, contributing 19 points and 10 rebounds. Senior Trent Rider contributed 14 points and finished with 989 for his career.
"Trent has just been a slow progression of getting better each year, and this year was the icing on that cake," Hendershot said. "I was very pleased with how he finished with his career, and I'm very blessed he came back to help us win the district championship. To be honest, would we be here without him? Probably not."
Constitution, which will play Shenandoah Valley in the quarterfinals Friday, got a huge game from Green, who finished with five 3-pointers and 31 points. Maurice Waters had a double-double with 18 points and 11 boards.
Constitution 75, Southern Fulton 48
Tamir Green 11 4-7 31, Maurice Waters 8 2-3 18, Youssef Diabate 1 0-0 2, Anthony Satchell 2 0-0 4, Tyree Mitchell 6 2-2 18, Khalif Kroma 1 0-0 2, Nasir Randolph 0 0-0 0. Totals — 29 8-12 75.
So. Fulton (48)
Carl Potter 4 1-2 9, Zach Clark 0 0-0 0, Dylan Gordon 5 8-9 19, Trent Rider 5 0-0 14, Branden Lynch 1 0-0 2, Owen Hawkins 2 0-1 4, Logan Beatty 0 0-0 0. Totals — 17 9-12 48.
Constitution _ 20 _ 14 _ 16 _ 25 _ — _ 75
So. Fulton _ 9 _ 21 _ 6 _ 12 _ — _ 48
3-point goals — Con 9 (Green 5, Mitchell 4), SF 5 (Rider 4, Gordon).