Trojans go on 18-0 run in second half to pull ahead of Triad in key league game.
SOUTH CHARLESTON — Southeastern’s experienced, athletic team is capable of scoring in runs. They had their biggest scoring run of the season on Friday in a crucial league game against Triad.
The Trojans went on a 6-0 run in the last two minutes of the third quarter and then scored the first 12 of the fourth to turn a tight game into a 61-36 win.
Southeastern led 28-23 at halftime. Both teams exchanged baskets for most of the third quarter as Triad stayed close. The Trojans went scoreless for about a four-minute stretch, during which time Triad cut the lead to 37-31. After the Trojans called a timeout, the game’s trajectory vastly changed.
The Trojans scored the last six points of the third to take a 10-point by the end of the quarter. Their run then continued for the first five minutes of the fourth as they scored 12 more points and held the Cardinals scoreless. By the time Triad finally scored with about three minutes left in the fourth, Southeastern had turned a 37-31 lead to a 53-33 lead.
As key as the quick scoring was, Southeastern head coach Brian Hecker said the run was generated by shutting the Cardinals’ offense down in the game’s final 10 minutes.
“We just guarded really well,” Hecker said. “We defended at a very high level, especially in that second half. That’s the best we’ve defended in a half for sure… When you get a bunch of stops in a row and you can move the ball offensively, it’s a lot easier to score. That’s what we emphasize, and I think that’s the best we’ve seen from our guys this year.”
Just like through the rest of the game, Southeastern’s scoring was balanced through the second-half run. Bertemes and Colton Spears hit three’s during the run, and Trevor King, Andrew Lyons, and Lucas South also scored in the paint.
“I remember earlier in the year, Trevor told me, ‘Man, we can score quickly and don’t even know it,’ ” Bertemes said. “Next thing you know tonight, Trevor and me look up and we’re up by 18 or 20 or whatever it was… Defensively (during the run), we stopped giving them easy buckets in transition and made them work for it.”
Bertemes, a senior guard, led Southeastern with 14 points and five rebounds. Lyons finished with 12 points, while King scored 9 and South added 7. Spears scored six points and brought down five rebounds.
The game was a big change from when the teams’ met for the first time this season on Dec. 11. Southeastern eked out a 61-57 road win that night. Colby Watson, a sophomore guard for Triad, scored 23 points in the December game. He scored three points in Friday’s game, all of which came from the foul line.
“They’re a very good team and well-coached,” Hecker said. “… We expected a fight and they played hard. Watson has really hurt the last few times we’ve played, even going back to last year. He’s really hurt us getting in the lane. That was one of our keys, just trying to contain his dribble. I thought our guys did a good job of that.
“We had some different guys on him all night, so it wasn’t just one individual. Jordan Greene, who doesn’t get much credit, he really went out there and guarded the ball and defended well.”
The win keeps Southeastern (14-2, 8-1 OHC) within one game of Ohio Heritage Conference leader West Liberty-Salem (13-2, 9-0). The Tigers beat the Trojans by 10 points on Jan. 8; they play again on Feb. 12 at Southeastern.
“Obviously we would like to be one game up, but we didn’t take care of business (against West Liberty-Salem),” Hecker said. “Our goal after that is to learn from it and see where we need to improve.”
Triad, the defending league champion, falls to 9-5 with the loss and 4-4 in the conference. Ryan Boyd led the Cardinals with 13 points, while Briley Harlan scored 12, 9 of which came in the first half.
Southeastern returns home on Saturday night to play Riverside.
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