Southeast boys get three wins at Dogger classic

YODER – The Southeast High School boys’ basketball team pushed its early season win streak to five games with three wins at the Dogger Classic on Friday and Saturday.

Sophomore Ayden Desmond scored the first nine points for the Cyclones as Southeast opened the weekend with a 66-55 win over the Kaycee Buckaroos.

“The first game against Kaycee, we were a little stagnate,” coach Craig Leithead said. “We got caught up in a lot of stuff. We didn’t have three days of practice this week, and we basically had one open gym, so, it was tough getting into the flow of things. They were resilient and got through it.”

In fact, only two Cyclones scored in the first quarter as Desmond and senior Austin Short combined for all 16 points in the quarter to propel the team to a 16-11 lead.

It was a lead which Southeast never surrendered in the contest.

Early in the second quarters, the Cyclones pushed their lead to double digits behind five more points from Short, but late in the quarter, Kaycee cut the deficit to 28-23 at the break.

Coming out of the locker room, Desmond and Short continued to have the hot hand as the duo combined for another 10 points in the first four and a half minutes of the third, getting the Southeast lead back to 13 points at 38-25.

The Cyclone lead topped out at 17 points with three minutes left in the game before Kaycee closed the gap to 11 in the closing seconds of the game.

 “We lost a little bit of focus at the end,” Leithead said.

Desmond led the team with a double-double, including 26 points and 10 rebounds, while Short added 21 points, three steals and two blocks. Senior Cooper Larkin had six points and four rebounds.

On Friday night, Southeast raced out to a 17-2 lead en route to a 61-27 win over the Encampment Tigers.

“Coming into the Encampment game, the boys were ready,” Leithead said. “We were able to play our game and our style.”

The Cyclones shot 56% (27-of-48) for the game.

Southeast early 15-point advantage was pushed to 29-7 at the end of the first eight minutes, pushing the lead to 31 at 44-13 at halftime.

“That’s what one of our things is, getting more fluid basketball, more transition, getting some points on the board and having fun playing basketball,” Leithead said. “That’s a fun way to play. The boys love it. I like to watch it, and so do the fans.

Midway through the third quarter, Larkin’s bucket extended the lead to 57-17, kicking in the running clock rule for the remainder of the game.

Southeast went on to score only four more points for the remainder of the game.

Short led the team with 17 points and seven assists, while Larkin added 13 points and two shot blocks. Desmond tossed in 11 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.

In the final game of the weekend, Southeast knocked off the Rock River Longhorns 79-33 on Saturday morning.

The Cyclones led 27-11 after one and 53-16 at half. The Southeast lead reached 46 at 67-21 heading into the fourth quarter, where both teams scored 12 points each.

Larkin led the team with 22 points and was one of five players in double figures for the Cyclones. 

“That’s one of the things that impresses me about this team,” Leithead said. “They have pretty good team unity, and the more we play, the more the team unity will come together. Getting distribution of the ball and getting everyone scoring is a lot fun and helps create that team atmosphere. Everyone stepped up. We all have stuff to work on, but overall, proud of these kids.”

Desmond tallied a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds, to go along with seven steals, while junior Cole Sauer had 11 points. Short also had a double-double with 11 points and 11 assists, while Clark had 10 points and six steals.

The Cyclones return to the hardwood on Friday, Jan. 6 at Rock River at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 7 at Hanna-Elk Mountain at 2:30 p.m.

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