FORT WAYNE — South Side continued its recent dominance against SAC teams with an easy 55-40 home win over defending Class 3A state champion Concordia on Friday.
The defending conference champion Archers (13-2, 3-0 SAC) have won 16 straight SAC regular-season games.
South Side is coming off a second consecutive SAC tournament title last week at Wayne, and over the past three years, the Archers are a combined 24-3 against SAC competition in the regular season, SAC tournament and postseason.
“The girls have really gotten relaxed with that kind of pressure,” South Side coach Juanita Goodwell said of maintaining the SAC success.
“But we have to keep them mentally tough throughout the game.”
Class 4A No. 4 South Side got 12 points from Brittni Clopton and 10 points each from Lynnia Noel, Maria Moore and Ariana Simmons. Noel added five assists, and Simmons had four rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks.
The 3A No. 8 Cadets (9-4) came into the game with a 2-0 record in the SAC, but because of injury and illness, Concordia had only eight players against South Side.
“No excuses, (the Archers) are just an outstanding team,” Concordia coach Dave Miller said. “You have to play an outstanding basketball game to be with them.
“This is a more skilled South Side team, perimeter shooting and so on, than what they have had sometimes in the past.”
South Side’s next big test in the conference might be the same as its last one when it plays host to Snider (11-2, 3-0) next Friday.
The Archers beat the Panthers 63-55 in the SAC tournament title game Dec. 29.
“That could be a game,” Miller said of the rematch. “That will be a fun game to watch.”
Courtney Smith led Concordia with 16 points, while DeJour Young added nine points.
“They are basically the same team throughout the time I have been here,” Clopton said of the 2010 and 2012 3A state champion Cadets. “They work hard, shoot well, and they are a good team. We just had to take our prior knowledge of them and use it in this game.”
The Archers had their way offensively in the first half, making 16 of 22 (72 percent) from the field.
“Defensively, we were a little soft at times,” Miller said. “We played the whole game and committed only eight fouls, and you want a little more aggressiveness out of them.”
South Side took command in the second quarter, turning a 29-17 advantage into a 37-17 margin.
“They are relentless, and they keep coming at you,” Miller said. “And there’s no substitute for speed. They keep bringing that.”
The Archers led 10-8 before going on an 8-0 run to extend the margin to 18-8 in the first quarter.