Boys basketball: Southeastern pulls away in second half to beat Northeastern

SOUTH CHARLESTON — The Southeastern High School boys basketball team put its size advantage to good use in the second half against a short-handed Northeastern squad on Tuesday night.

Senior Cole Walton scored a career-high 23 points and senior Ayden Robinson added 21 points as Southeastern outscored the Jets 17-9 in the third quarter en route to a 62-41 Ohio Heritage Conference crossover division victory.

Walton, a 6-foot-4 guard, scored 11 points in the third quarter and Robinson, a 6-foot-3 forward, added nine in the fourth quarter as Southeastern improved to 8-5 and 7-3 in the OHC South.

“They took control, did what we needed to do and they got it done,” Southeastern coach Chris Stout said.

Junior Will Sudhoff had 13 points, hitting four 3-pointers, and sophomore Aiden Neer added 12 points, hitting three 3-pointers, as Northeastern fell to 4-5 and 3-4 in the OHC North. The Jets had eight available players for the game, the majority of which were underclassmen.

“When we get it out and go, we can be pretty good,” Northeastern coach Trevor Kushmaul said. “Their size just got to us inside. We didn’t front the post like we were supposed to and help on the back side. … We’re getting better each game. We’re young right now. It’s good for these guys to get experience.”

Southeastern led 17-7 midway through the first quarter, but the Jets went on a 15-8 run, cutting the lead to 25-22 right before the half thanks to a 3-pointer by Neer.

“In the last few games, they’ve had some big quarters,” Stout said. “We knew they could. They can shoot the 3-ball. We just used our size and our strength and just started pounding it inside and that made the difference. We came out in the second half with a little bit of fire.”

In the third quarter, Southeastern jumped out to a 42-25 lead on an old-fashioned 3-point play by Walton. Northeastern cut the lead to 11 points on a 3-pointer by Neer at 42-31, but the Jets wouldn’t get any closer.

“They were unselfish in the second half. We had to go inside and we were able to get it done,” Stout said.

Northeastern has shown flashes of strong play in recent weeks, Kushmaul said. The Jets jumped out to a 27-0 lead against Greenon in a 48-42 win on Jan. 9. They also had a 31-point quarter against Greeneview on Jan. 12 before falling 62-55.

“They’re getting a little taste of it,” Kushmaul said. “We’re seeing it in spurts. Now it’s about consistency. … It’s a young team. We’ll start learning that if you get down eight or 10, you don’t have to come down and force a quick shot – just execute your offense, get a good shot and we’ll get back in the game.”

Southeastern has won four of its last five games, including a key OHC victory at North Division co-leader West Liberty-Salem on Jan. 5. Southeastern’s lone loss came against Fairbanks — the other North Division co-leader — in a tight 56-55 game last week.

Southeastern travels to West Jefferson on Friday before Cedarville comes to South Charleston for a key OHC South game. Cedarville (11-3, 8-2) leads the South Division, one game ahead of Southeastern and 1.5 games ahead of defending champion Greeneview (8-5, 6-3).

“We don’t want to look too far ahead,” Stout said. “We take it day-by-day. We plan each day and try to go out and execute.”

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