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Lady Rebels Fast Start Full Of Firsts

Southside won Tournament of Champions for first time in 16 year history.

The Deepsnap Tournament of Champions has been a staple in Fort Smith for 16 years.

But the Southside Lady Rebels haven’t exactly had a ton of success in the tournament. Zero success, actually.

Southside had never reached the finals before they did so on Saturday and the Lady Rebels took full advantage. Southside posted a 50-47 overtime win against Ozark (Mo.) last weekend to take the crown for the first time.

“The whole TOC thing has never been Southside`s thing, especially at UAFS in the Stubblefield (Center). I don`t know, it just wasn`t our friend,” Southside coach Sherry White said. “This was huge for this group of girls, for me, to play the caliber of teams that we played.”

Southside is off to a 9-1 start after a win at Harrison on Tuesday but the Tournament of Champions did several things for the senior laden team. The Lady Rebels knocked off two-time defending champion Midwest City (Okla.) in the semifinals and then proved to itself it could compete night in and night out.

“It was awesome. We all played like a team and it was just a huge team effort,” Southside senior Lauren Fritsche said. “Everybody was involved and it was just really exciting to win for the first time.”

Southside will face Little Rock Central on Friday.