By TYLER HENRY
Salina Post contributor
After securing a third-place finish at the Sterling Invitational, the Southeast of Saline girl’s basketball team will resume regular season and league play with a Tuesday trip to Republic County.
The Lady Trojans have put themselves in a very favorable position heading into the home stretch and will come into this contest at 9-2 while the Lady Buffaloes continue their search for a first win at 0-11.
Despite falling in just their second loss of the season to Hugoton, Southeast looked solid in Sterling and will emerge from their midseason tournament even stronger for having played another gauntlet.
“Everyone was a little disappointed that we didn’t make it into a championship game but we understand that we got beat by a really good Hugoton team that’s going to go very far,” SES head coach Shauna Smith said. “Lexi stepped up her game and she’s been playing to her full potential. Hopefully, everyone else can follow suit and if we all put it all together we’re going to be really hard to beat.”
Unlike in years past, things won’t get much easier for the Lady Trojans moving forward against a resurgent league that is sure to keep them on their toes in the lead-up to sub-state.
“It’s nice that the league is more competitive this year and we’re getting more battles,” Smith said. “I knew it was going to be on the up because there were a lot of young teams but this helps us to be prepared come sub-state time because we’re going to be in more close games.”
While Republic County has yet to find their stride, the Lady Buffaloes will be hungry to secure their first win of the season on Tuesday, and the Lady Trojans can’t afford to fall asleep on this matchup.
“They’re definitely better than they were last year,” she said. “They play with no fear so we’re going to have to play together. Scoring hasn’t come easy for them so we have to play defense without reaching and if we do the things we know how to do well we should be okay.”
The biggest key for SES will be in slowing the play of sophomore standout Avery Stindt, who leads the team in points (13.7), rebounds (6.7), and assists (2.3) per game.
“She plays with no fear,” Smith said. “She’ll try to take you to the basket and she can play as a guard or in the post.”
Tip-off between the Lady Trojans and Buffs is set for 6:30 pm in Belleville with the boy’s game to follow at 7:00.
For continuing coverage of both SES hoops programs down the home stretch, stay tuned to the Salina Post.