LINCOLN–(KFOR Jan. 4)–Finding themselves down 13-2 past the halfway point of the first quarter Tuesday night, the Lincoln Southeast boys basketball team managed to regroup from Lincoln North Star’s quick start.
The Knights relied on help off the bench from 6-8 sophomore forward Bangot Dak and 5-9 freshman guard BJ Bradford to rally Southeast back and hold on for a 46-45 victory over the Gators at The Swamp, in a game heard on KFOR.
Southeast (5-4) had no answers early on to North Star’s 1-3-1 zone defense and the combined nine blocks from 6-8 junior center Brennon Clemmons, Jr. and 6-7 junior forward Antallah Sandlin’el. Sophomore guard Jake Hilkemann scored nine of his 11 points in the first half for the Gators, including a basket that gave them a 23-13 with 2:29 left in the first half.
The Knights countered and went on an 11-2 run to finish the first half, sparked by sophomore guard Taye Moore’s back-to-back three-pointers and Southeast trailed North Star at halftime 25-24.
Southeast briefly took control 31-30 in the third quarter, before ending up trailing by four at the end of the period, after North Star senior guard Cooper Wesslund nailed a turn-around desperation three-pointer at the buzzer.
Southeast hedged ahead behind Dak, who led the Knights with 10 points, and Bradford, who hit a three for a 44-39 lead with three minutes left in the game. Bradford hit the front end of a one-and-one free-throw attempt, then Clemmons raced down the court to score for North Star, then after a missed free-throw from Southeast, Hilkemann scored to tie the game at 45 with 49 seconds to go.
Moore hit the front end of a one-and-one free-throw attempt to give the Knights at one. Then North Star had one more opportunity to go for the win, but Clemmons briefly lost control of the ball before regaining it to take the final shot that bounced off the rim at the buzzer.
Sandlin’el led all scorers with 12 points for North Star, who fell to 5-5.