YODER – The Southeast High School boys’ basketball team gave up 30 first-quarter points to the Mitchell (Neb.) Tigers but eventually flipped the script to take a seven-point lead midway through the third quarter.
Ultimately, it was Mitchell who came away with a 75-62 victory over the Cyclones.
The Tigers scored the first five points of the game en route to a 30-14 lead when the first quarter came to a close.
When the second quarter began, the Southeast defense didn’t allow Mitchell to score another point for almost four minutes.
“I told them we had to anticipate on defense instead of seeing it and then reacting,” Southeast coach Crockett Herring said of the message to the team in between quarters. “We got the moving and helping better. Then we started making some shots. It fueled the fire.”
During that stretch, the Cyclones trimmed the deficit to 30-22. By halftime, Mitchell’s lead dwindled to 39-33.
Coming out of halftime, Southeast senior Sawyer Anderson scored the first five points of half, cutting Mitchell lead to 39-38, and on the next offensive possession, Cyclone senior Hayden Anderson gave his team the first lead of the game.
Southeast’s lead reached 48-41 midway through the third before Mitchell started to find their rhythm again.
The Tigers scored 14 of the next 19 points to take a 55-51 lead into the final eight minutes of the game.
“We had a couple turnovers and missed three shots in a row, and it got them back even or ahead. Then we couldn’t find our groove again,” Herring said. “I never doubt our kids’ effort, but we have to be a little more disciplined when we have a lead and make sure we don’t have turnovers.”
Mitchell never trailed again for the remainder of the game.
Hayden Anderson led the Cyclones with 23 points. Senior Bodie Herring and junior Cord Herring added 14 apiece, while Sawyer Anderson had 11. Hayden Anderson, Bodie Herring and Cord Herring grabbed eight rebounds each.
The next day, Southeast bounced back with a 51-38 victory over the Niobrara County Tigers.
“They are better than they were last year,” Herring said. “The (Ryan) Bruegger kid is a big, talented kid. We are going to have to come to play if we are going to win one.”
That’s exactly what Southeast did on Saturday.
The Cyclones raced out to a 13-5 first quarter lead, pushing the lead to 26-8 by halftime.
In the second half, NCHS closed the gap in the third quarter, outscoring Southeast 16-10, but the Cyclones kept the Tigers at bay over the final eight minutes to pull out the 13-point win.
Bodie Herring led the Cyclones with 13 points and 14 rebounds, while Sawyer Anderson added 12 points and Hayden Anderson 11.
Southeast is back in action on Friday, Jan. 29 at Moorcroft. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. On Saturday, the Cyclones return home to face Class 3A Burns at 4 p.m.