By TYLER HENRY
Salina Post contributor
After falling to Hugoton in their first loss of the season the Southeast of Saline boys’ basketball team was hungry for an opportunity to get back in the win column and make a statement.
Republic County just happened to be the next team on the schedule unfortunate enough to be in the way.
The Trojans exploded out of the gates on a 16-0 run and by the halftime buzzer led 44-13 en route to a 75-23 victory.
Much of that success came in transition, where Southeast pressed the daylight out of the Buffaloes, forcing a staggering 25 turnovers and scoring easy buckets in bunches on the other end.
“We’ve been forcing teams to think about us full court and tonight we really let them go,” SES head coach Bryson Flax said. “We were in good positions to make plays and our guys were really locked in regardless of the result of the last game. I think that focus helped.”
This game was also a resounding victory for the Trojans on the glass, who gained critical second-chance points while consistently limiting Republic County to one attempt per possession.
“I don’t think we gave them too many possessions and we made a lot of correct passes tonight,” Flax said. “Guys filled the lane in the right spots and we did a good job once again of rebounding.”
Offensively, Southeast shared the wealth with twelve different scorers led by three double-digit performances from Eli Sawyers (19), Drake Augustine (13), and Nakari Morrical-Palmer (10).
Several members of the Trojan’s second set of subs made their way into the game in the second half and despite coming in cold, didn’t miss a beat on either end.
“We had a talk with our third unit at halftime that their time was coming and that we didn’t want things to get helter-skelter,” Flax said. “We needed to play under control, we needed to execute and they did that which was even more impressive because they hadn’t played in a week and a half. I was really proud of those guys for what they did.”
The Trojans, now 11-1 and 4-0 in league play will battle another NCAA opponent on Friday when the Ellsworth Bearcats come to town.