Southeast boys snap losing streak
By By Rocky Higginbotham/The Meridian Star
It was a good night to be from Southeast Lauderdale.
Especially if your last name is Horner.
After watching Lady Tigers' senior guard Monique Horner break the state's all-time scoring record, the Southeast boys put an end to a 37-game losing streak behind 41 points from Anthony Horner as the Tigers knocked off Clarkdale 75-69 in the Lauderdale County Tournament.
Friday night's other boys' tourney game at Meridian Community College's Ivy Sports Center saw Northeast Lauderdale beat West Lauderdale 48-40 in a defensive struggle.
Tonight, Northeast can wrap up an unbeaten tourney slate if the Trojans can handle Clarkdale at 5:30 p.m. West and Southeast's boys meet in the nightcap at 8:30.
Southeast boys 75, Clarkdale 69: Third-year SEL head coach Ryan Miller said he felt like the world had been lifted off his chest after the Tigers won for the first time since February of 1999.
Southeast was 0-30 a year ago and had lost its first six boys' games of this season.
Southeast actually trailed Clarkdale by six points at halftime before Anthony Horner the team's only senior began to heat up.
Horner scored 27 of his 41 points in the second half, as he began to heat up late in the third quarter when SEL closed to within 55-51.
Two three-pointers later, the Tigers were on top for good.
Clarkdale tied the game twice midway through the fourth quarter, but Horner's final three-pointer of the night his eighth put the Tigers ahead 69-66 with 2:04 left. Southeast hit four free throws in the game's final 1:03 to seal the win.
Doug Rowe added 11 points and Ben Reed scored nine for the Tigers, while LaPatrick Carlisle pitched in with eight points.
Clarkdale lost despite a balanced effort that included 23 points from Richard Matthews, 22 from Anthony Holliday and 11 from Jamie Followay.
The loss also avenged one of the Tigers' losses, as Southeast lost to Clarkdale by six points in last week's Bi-County Tip-Off Tournament.
Northeast boys 48, West Lauderdale 40: The Trojans held the Knights without a field goal for the final 10:57 of the game to take a defensive struggle in the nightcap.
West Lauderdale took a 32-31 lead on a basket by Calvin Moore with 2:57 left in the third quarter, but the Knights could only manage eight free throws the rest of the way.
Northeast took the lead for good on a basket from Theo Naylor with 6:10 left, and the Trojans got a big blocked shot from Stephen Dyess in the closing seconds that led to a Jimmy Kelly layup to seal the NEL win.
Kelly finished with 15 points and Marcus Betts added 10 to lead Northeast. Naylor scored seven and Jamaal Martin six.
Moore led West Lauderdale with 14 points, while Van Wilson scored 12.
Rocky Higginbotham is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.