When Southview and Northview step on the same court it's always meaningful.
It's always serious.
However, the two teams went into last night's meeting tied for first with Perrysburg, which lost to Bowling Green.
More than just hometown bragging rights were at stake as Southview overcame a sluggish start to claim a 69-58 victory.
Jamar Murchison led a balanced Cougars attack by pumping in a game-high 19 points, including eight in the fourth quarter.
Steve Kyser also came through with eight points in the final period to finish with 18 points and four rebounds.
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Ray Thomas chipped in with 18 points for Southview while collecting a team-high nine rebounds.
Southview took care of business at the foul line by making 14 of 15 for the game, including a 9-for-10 effort in the fourth quarter to insure the victory.
“I thought our kids did a nice job of doing what we had to do,” Southview coach Marc Jump said. “I thought we did a much better job tonight of being patient and not settling on jump shots.”
The Cougars (9-3, 6-2 NLL) improved to 5-1 on their home floor. The Wildcats dropped to 7-6, 5-3.
For Kyser, one of a half-dozen seniors on Southview's roster, taking care of business at home against their rivals was considered a priority.
“This is really special for the seniors because this is the last time we'll play against Northview at home,” Kyser said. “We wanted to go out and prove we're the best in Sylvania.”
That was certainly debatable in the early going as Northview came out in the first quarter and took the early lead.
Cody Shoemaker paced the Wildcats with 14 points and J.G. Becker came through with 13 points.
However, Northview's quick start quickly slowed down in the second quarter when the Wildcats were outscored 22-6 to allow the Cougars to take a 33-22 advantage into halftime.
Five Northview turnovers in the period helped Southview score several easy baskets during the quarter. Murchison came through with nine points during the run.
The Cougars closed out the first half with a 13-2 run and the Wildcats never fully recovered, although the Wildcats came within four points in the second half.
“Turnovers really hurt us tonight, no doubt about it,” Northview coach Dennis Shoemaker said. “We didn't shoot the ball well at all tonight and you have to give them a lot of credit because they took Cody Shoemaker and Bryan Heidtman right out of the game.”
With a half-dozen league games remaining, the Cougars kept their league-title hopes still in good standing with the win and Northview believes it still has a shot at the title too.
“We're still there,” Shoemaker said. “The problem is, we've backed ourselves into a corner. We've got six league games to play and now we can't lose.”