Buffaloes get back to fundamentals
An inconsistency on defense has plagued the Southeast boys in their past three games that included two wins by a combined 13 points and a loss to North.
The past few games weve been getting away from pressuring up, Southeast senior EJ Garnes said. Against Carroll we didnt pressure like we need to. (Monday) in practice, we really focused on getting up in the passing lanes.
Northwest is a very good team, and they like to set screens, get a great shot, so we tried to speed them up, push them off the screens. It really worked out for us.
The difference was obvious in Fridays 58-35 win at Northwest as the Buffaloes forced 14 turnovers to improve to 6-1 overall and 5-1 in the City League.
Garnes had five steals.
We sped them up, pressured the ball and trapped, Southeast sophomore Jerrick Harding said.
Northwest controlled the opening quarter with physical play inside, getting two blocked shots from Brett Johnston and one from Cortez Carr. It was an important defensive stand for the Grizzlies because of Southeasts affinity for driving to the basket.
We were really trying to focus on keeping EJ out of the middle and be able to get back to their shooters, Northwest coach Chris Collins said. But as you can see, that didnt work for very long. I think we got careless with the basketball.
After Northwest took a 16-12 lead off Kaleb Cobbs transition basket, Southeast took over.
Southeast senior Jordan Murdock scored nine second-quarter points, and with a 22-16 lead, Garnes had consecutive steals and fastbreak baskets, including one after a Northwest timeout. Garnes basket with 1:19 to go in the second quarter capped a 14-0 run.
With a 26-18 lead at the half, Southeast then held Northwest to four third-quarter points. The Buffaloes forced 10 of Northwests 14 turnovers in the second and third quarters.
A key for Southeast was its offense as the Buffaloes made 24 of 53 shots, including 4 of 9 from three-point range.
They also had players get hot at various times. Harding scored six of his game-high 19 points in the first quarter, while Murdock scored nine of his 12 in the second period, and Garnes scored eight of his 14 in the fourth.
Its unselfish basketball, Southeast coach Melvin Herring said. Basketball is a game of unselfishness. If youre playing unselfish, youre going to win, otherwise you have miscues, turnovers.
Thats what Im proud of with our kids. Theyve become very unselfish, theyre trusting each other, believing in each other.
Collins feels the opposite with his team, which he said seems to be focused on stats.
We got up 16-12, and whats been plaguing us all year kind of crept back in. Were just a very selfish team. Until we right that, were going to struggle, said Collins, whose team is 3-4.
Northwest was led by Aaron Nicholsons 10 points and Carrs 16 rebounds.
SOUTHEAST: Harding 19, Love 2, Franklin 2, Garnes 14, Oyugi 4, Murdock 12, Payne 2, Newton 3.
NORTHWEST: Carr 7, Cobb 4, Williams 7, Nicholson 10, Miller 3, Hamilton 4.
Northwest's awesome pregame huddle and dance.
Northwest's band and fans
Southeast's EJ Garnes
Southeast's Jerrick Harding