LINCOLN–(KLMS Jan. 25)–Two of Lincoln Southeast’s key players faced foul trouble on Saturday evening, but somehow the Knights were able to weather the storm.
Southeast took control in the second quarter and held off a late surge from Lincoln Northeast to earn a 69-66 boys basketball victory, in a game heard on ESPN Lincoln FM101.5/1480AM from the Prasch Center.
Northeast led 18-16 after the first quarter, but Southeast quickly responded when 6-5 junior Ajantae Hogan hit two quick baskets to put the Knights ahead for the first time early in the second quarter. Hogan would score three more times before picking up his third foul midway through the quarter. Southeast, though, gave the lead back to Northeast briefly and rallied back to take a 40-34 halftime lead, mostly behind McGinness Schneider, who scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half.
Southeast (9-5) ended an early Northeast spurt to the second half, when Hogan and Schneider connected on back-to-back baskets that put Southeast up 48-41. The Knights’ biggest lead of the game was an eight-point margin. Both Hogan and Schneider each picked up their fourth foul and had to sit out the rest of the third quarter.
Northeast (7-8) finished the period trailing 53-49, when Pierce Bazil stole the ball and raced to the other end for a layup with 1.9 seconds left, after Southeast failed to stall and play for a final shot.
The Rockets tied the game at 53, before the Knights had Hogan and Schneider return to the court. The Knights garnered control, including big baskets from Hogan and 6-4 sophomore Jake Appleget to extend the lead to 58-53.
Schneider fouled out with four minutes left in the game and Southeast adjusted defensively, limiting Northeast from gaining full control of the game.
Southeast led 63-59 with a minute left when Derek Branch converted on the front half of a one-and-one free throw opportunity. Then Jake Bard hit a three-pointer with 51 seconds left to pull Northeast to within one, 63-62. In the final seconds, Branch added four more free throws and Hogan added two more, as part of his 26-point performance.
Bazil led Northeast with 16 points, while Carson Busch added 15, Zander Beard had 14 before he fouled out and Bard finished with 11.