BOUNCE: Homestead’s sectional win over South helps things come full circle

The Homestead Spartans, 2022 Sectional champions. (Photo by Leslie Palmer)

There were probably Sectional matchups and potential finals matchups that were more intriguing for Homestead than perennial rival South Side on Saturday night.

Friday’s semi final opponent Columbia City for one. Expected finals opponent Huntington North is another.

But actually, it all makes sense that it was South Side. Always a thorn in Homestead’s side, but not quite able to consistently knock off the Spartans. That has been South Side’s role since the Spartans first debuted in the SAC less than 10 years ago. In the regular season, in the SAC Holiday Tournament, in Sectionals, the Archers were just the team that wouldn’t go away. Even this year, when South posted their worst record in coach Juanita Goodwell’s South Side tenure, they gave Homestead a push for a while in the postseason.

Homestead did pull out the win though, 87-55.

When South took a 13-11 lead in the first quarter on Saturday, it was abundantly clear that the Archers are still that thorn in the side regardless of what the final score was. This was the same South Side team that won just three games in the regular season and hadn’t won back to back games until the postseason. Time, after all, is a flat circle as Bounce’s pal Justin Prince of Fox55 says; aka the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Emma Reust’s three first quarter three pointers were what kept the Spartans’ heads above water early as the Archers, especially Olivia Smith, were making their runs at Homestead. South Side’s quick start hit a wall in the second quarter, taking 3:15 to get on the scoreboard in the second frame. The Archers kept pushing and looked like they could make a run before the half until Maggie Keinsley knocked down a three pointer in the closing seconds of the half to give Homestead a 33-22 lead; their first double digit lead of the game. This came despite South Side holding Ayanna Patterson two just two first half points.

Homestead’s Ayanna Patterson tries to race through South Side defenders during February 5’s Sectional title game at Huntington North. (Photo by Leslie Palmer)

In the end, it was Homestead that took full control and pulled out a Sectional title win, their eighth in the last nine seasons. Patterson really found her stride and comfort in the second half to help push Homestead to a 49-29 lead and that critical 20-point spread in the third quarter. Her and-one opportunity off the break with 1:23 left in the third gave her 13 points in the quarter and being able to do it on a grab a rebound and go fast break showed that her dominance was starting to shine. Patterson had 17 total points in the third quarter alone.

The final was probably not in doubt for many and that speaks volumes to the shine that the Spartans have this season, one where they will lose just two seniors when all is said and done. Coach Rod Parker has been very consistent in reloading a team that is dominant in the area and often in the northern half of the state. While a second state title has eluded them so far, they are always at the forefront with players like Miss Basketball frontrunner Patterson as well her co-senior constant Keinsley.

Those stars like Patterson always lead the way and always make it seem like Homestead is unbeatable. But much like in former battles with South Side over the years, Saturday’s Sectional title game saw a host of consistent players chip in and chip away at South Side. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

What does the future hold for Homestead even this season? Time will tell and we will get into all of that this coming week as we preview the Regional round. But another Sectional title is amazing. It has been 13 years since Parker and company have won less than 18 games and they are a champion of some sort nearly every single year for almost a decade and a half. That longevity is astounding and to get the most recent one against South Side is nostalgia inducing.

Like I said, it only makes sense that the Archers were the foes for Homestead’s most recent impact moment.

Patterson ended with 32 points and 14 rebounds; during the game she became the first Spartan to ever earn 1,000 career rebounds. Stephens (15) and Reust (14) added to Homestead’s depth. South Side was led by Smith’s 18 points and 11 assists.

These opinions represent those of  Bounce and Outside the Huddle. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers. Follow Bounce on Twitter at Bounce_OTH

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