YODER – With a makeshift lineup, the short-handed Southeast Lady Cyclones came up a point shy in their home opener Thursday evening against the Bayard Lady Tigers.
“I thought we played well, really,” Southeast coach Jennifer Scheer said. “I thought we had a lot of kids step up and filled a lot of minutes. They did a lot of things I asked of them. We had some nerves early in the game.”
The Lady Cyclones grabbed an early 5-3 lead behind an old-fashioned 3-point play from junior Kadra Clark, but a 14-2 run gave the visitors a double-digit lead late in the first quarter en route to 46-45 win over Southeast.
Southeast chipped away at the deficit, cutting it to 25-21 at the half.
“We never gave up and made a couple little mistakes here and there. We just couldn’t get the lead back in our hands and control the game. Some of that comes with inexperience,” Scheer said. “I had some kids playing in roles that they aren’t used to, playing with some lineups that they aren’t used to. Overall, it was a good experience for everybody.”
Midway through the third quarter, Southeast regained the lead courtesy of scores from senior Kaylee Wilson and Clark, forcing Bayard to use a timeout.
The Lady Tigers countered with a 9-2 run to take a 37-33 lead into the final eight minutes.
Southeast once again battled back drawing within one in the final minute.
“We played tremendous defense. We rebounded the ball well and we really executed well,” Scheer said. “We had every opportunity. We got caught a few times on some defensive shifts we missed and that comes with time and experience. We’ll be better next week for it.”
The Lady Cyclone full-court press forced a turnover, but Southeast couldn’t convert on the extra possession to regain the lead in the closing seconds.
Clark led the Southeast with 12 points, while Wilson added 11. Junior Morgan Ekwall tossed in nine.
The Lady Cyclones will resume their season on Thursday, Jan. 3 at the Taco John’s Classic in Cheyenne.
“We’ll see some really good competition,” Scheer said. “It’ll be a good learning experience for varsity and junior varsity. I’m looking forward to it. They should be some good games and hopefully learn from that.”