After struggling on offense for 32 minutes Saturday, the Southeastern Trojans walked off the court with a win. In tournament basketball, that’s what matters most.
“That’s what I told them,” Southeastern coach Jim Lightle said after his girls advanced after a tough 22-19 win against Twin Valley South in the opening round of the Division IV sectional tournament.
“We didn’t play well and (Twin Valley South is) probably not happy how well they played. … You kept thinking whoever had that run was going to be the winner.”
Fourth-seeded Southeastern’s 6-0 scoring spree in the fourth quarter provided the difference at Brookville High School. Lexie Perry gave the Trojans a 15-14 lead and Mona Ratliff extended it to 19-14 on a basket and two free throws with 4:52 to play.
No. 8 TVS pulled within 19-16 with 2:12 to go. It remained that way until 19 seconds left when Southeastern’s Taylor Perry sank two free throws, making it 21-16. But TVS responded with Whitney White’s 3-pointer with eight seconds left. Taylor Perry split two free throws two seconds later, and TVS couldn’t get a shot off after rebounding her miss.
Southeastern (12-11) entered the game averaging 40 points. But the Trojans haven’t scored more than six points in five of the last six quarters dating to the regular-season finale with Northeastern.
“Our philosophy is if we play defense we can always stay in the game,” Lightle said. “If we can keep it close we have a shot at it.”
Unofficially, Southeastern shot 6-of-38 (15 percent). That included an 0-22, 15-minute stretch starting with 2:28 left in the first quarter and ending with 3:30 left in the third. TVS finished 8-of-31 (25 percent). Just as damaging for the Panthers was a 2-for-13 performance from the free-throw line, including missing all nine in the second half.
“We couldn’t get in a rhythm on offense,” TVS coach Glen Mabry said. “You keep shooting. … Sometimes they fall and sometimes they don’t. In this case today most of the time they just wouldn’t go down.”
The loss was the Panthers’ (6-17) eighth by seven points or less.
Southeastern plays No. 3 Franklin Monroe 6 p.m. Tuesday at Brookville.
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