TORRINGTON – The Southeast High School boys’ basketball team rolled into the 1A East Regional championship game with 38- and 47-point victories on Thursday, but Saturday’s championship game was a different story.
On Thursday, the Cyclones rolled to an opening round 61-23 victory over cross-county rival Lingle-Fort Laramie.
Southeast jumped out to a 16-4 lead, and never allowed the Doggers to score more than nine points in any quarter.
Senior Sawyer Anderson led Southeast with 16 points, while junior Cord Herring added 10. Senior Hayden Anderson had seven. Junior Cord Herring grabbed a team-high six rebounds.
The Cyclones shot 42% (25-of-60) from the floor, while holding L-FL to only 24% (8-of-33) shooting.
Later in the evening, Southeast blew out the Guernsey-Sunrise Vikings in the semifinal round of the regional tournament 67-20.
Southeast quickly built a double-digit advantage, leading 15-5 at the end of the first quarter. The Cyclones limited the Vikings to only three second-quarter points as Southeast’s lead grew to 38-8 by halftime.
By the fourth quarter, Southeast kicked in the running clock rule, pushing their lead past 40.
The Cyclones had three players in double figures, led by Sawyer Anderson and senior Bodie Herring with 13 apiece. Hayden Anderson tossed in 12.
“Thursday, we started well. We played great defense, and everything was working,” Cyclone coach Crockett Herring said. “The passing lanes were a lot more open on Thursday than what it was (Saturday). We played good basketball and just got away from the other teams quick and had an easy time of it.”
After a day off on Friday, Southeast faced a one-loss Upton Bobcat.
Upton came out scoring the first 12 points of the game.
“We weren’t ready to play. We were stuck in the mud in the first quarter and never got out of it,” Crockett Herring said. “That’s a good basketball team, and if we can’t come out and match their intensity to start the game, they proved it to us they are better than us.”
It wasn’t until the 3:34 mark in the first quarter when Bodie Herring went 1-of-2 at the free-throw line that Southeast was finally on the scoreboard.
The Cyclones went nearly six minutes into the game before scoring their first field goal of the game.
“It’s been our MO the entire year. I thought we had gotten away from that,” Crockett Herring said. “We’ve been starting better against lesser opponents, but I have to find a switch to get them ready to play. We can’t start 12-0 against a good team.”
Three-pointers by Cord Herring and Sawyer Anderson cut the Upton lead to 10, but that proved to be as close as Southeast came to seeing the lead the rest of the game.
Upton outscored Southeast 15-6 in the second quarter and 24-9 in the third to take a 58-26 lead into the final eight minutes of the game.
“We aren’t going to see any more teams that are lower quality. They are all going to be high quality,” Crockett Herring said. “We’ll play Farson, and we better get our heads on straight and be ready to play on Wednesday.”
Bodie Herring led the Cyclones with 17 points, while Hayden Anderson had nine. Both Herrin and Anderson also grabbed a team-high nine points.
The loss drops Southeast (13-8) to the No. 2 seed for this week’s Wyoming Class 1A State Tournament in Casper. The Cyclones will face Farson-Eden (13-6), the No. 3 seed from the West Regional at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Casper College’s Swede Erickson Thunderbird Gym.
“They are a good basketball team. I’ve seen a little bit of film of them,” Crockett Herring said. “They don’t have one outstanding player like Saratoga or Encampment. They have five good basketball players and they play together.”