After only playing three games in the last month, Southeast boys' head coach Tim Simpson and the Lancers are hoping to speed back into the grind of things as they play three games in this week’s Southeast Lancer Classic basketball tournament.
The eight-team tournament for the boys will start at 5:30 p.m. Monday with the third-seeded Lancer boys taking on sixth-seeded Seneca, out of Missouri, at 5:30 p.m. on Monday night as the lone local tournament in Crawford County.
“I’m very excited because it’ll help us get back to our grove,” Simpson said. “We have to fine tune some things. Sometimes, if you have too many days off, guys get rusty. I like that we’re getting back to the grind of things.”
The Lancers (4-5) are coming off a loss to the Galena Bulldogs on Friday, which was their only game of the week.
“The biggest challenge for us is to bounce back from the loss to Galena. We lost the game, but we’re in a good position where we are at,” Simpson said. “We have a lot of basketball left. We have to use that as momentum for this tournament and for the remainder of this year.”
A strong showing in the Lancer Classic could possibly be a momentum boost for Southeast.
“It’ll give the boys confidence that we need,” Simpson said. “As long as we get on a consistent level of play — play as a family and not just a team — then we can go far at substate and state.”
Parsons will be the top seeded team and will take on eighth-seeded Columbus on Tuesday night. Fourth-seeded St. Paul will face fifth-seeded Erie on Tuesday as afternoon, while second-seeded Jayhawk-Linn takes on seventh-seed Baxter Springs on Tuesday night as well.
The Lancers have already faced Columbus and St. Paul, winning both meetings (72-55 against Columbus and 48-37 against St. Paul).
“I’m exited about getting those teams,” Simpson said. “St. Paul gave us a good games. I’m excited about playing Columbus again. The first time we played them, they played very well. I’m excited to see how they’ve grown as well. We want to play teams at their best and see how they’re growing so we can see how far to push our boys.”
Seneca enters with a 2-6 record. They are coming off a loss to Carl Junction from Friday.
“We don’t know that much about Seneca, so we need to do some scouting on them,” Simpson said. “For us, we have to come out fast. We have to stick with our game plan and force our will on Seneca to get a win.”
The winners of the first round games will advance to the semifinals on Thursday, while the losers will play on Friday in the consolation rounds. The boys' championship game will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
The Southeast Girls Lancer Classic will tip off on Monday afternoon with fourth-seeded Parsons taking on Jayhawk-Linn. The seventh seeded Southeast Lancer girls will face Baxter Springs at 7 p.m.
The third-seeded Columbus Titans will face Erie. and top-seeded St. Paul will have a bye in the first round.
“It’s a good field,” said Southeast head coach Derek Sanders. “St. Paul, they had a good win against Frontenac and they’re undefeated. Parsons is here again. Columbus had a good win over Parsons and Baxter is having a solid season. There are a lot of tough teams in our tournament.”
The Lancers (0-6) will be eager to be at home after only playing two games in Cherokee so far this season.
“We always to do well in front of our home crowd,” Sanders said. “We’ve only had a couple of home games, so it’ll be nice to play on our home court. We’ll have more home games this week than we’ve had all year.”
While Southeast continues to search for their first win of the season, Sanders said the biggest challenge is to stay tough with playing three games in one week.
“Obviously, with our low numbers, having three games in one week is going to be tough physically,” Simpson said. “Our girls are up to the challenge. We had a close game against Galena (47-32) and it got away from us and that’s because we had nothing left in the tank. That’s going to be a major challenge: staying fresh for this week.”
Despite their struggles, Sanders is proud of the steps forward the Lancers have made.
“I feel like we’ve done a good job of making progress,” Sanders said. “Our girls are doing a great job of being ready to work every day with the end result of competing in mind.”
The winners of Monday’s games will advance to the semifinals on Thursday and the championship and third-place games will take place on Saturday, beginning at 1:30 p.m. The fifth-place game in the consolation side of the bracket. The championship game for the girls will take place at 6 p.m.
Tony Dubray Classic
The Northeast Vikings and the St. Mary’s Colgan boys' and girls' basketball teams will play in the Tony Dubray Classic in Liberal, Missouri this week. The Viking boys will face Golden City at 8:30 p.m. on Monday, while the Panther boys will face Bronaugh on Tuesday.
The Viking girls will face Golden City at 7 p.m. on Monday, while the Panther girls will face Liberal at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
Wilson County Classic
The Girard Trojans will take part in the Wilson County Classic basketball tournament.
The second-seeded Trojan girls will Neodesha at 6 p.m. Monday at Bateman Gym, while the second-seeded Trojan boys will square off against Caney at 7:30 p.m. Monday. Tuesday's action has the GHS girls playing Caney at 6 p.m., with the Girard boys squaring off against Cherryvale at 7:30 p.m.
Michael Bauer is a sports reporter for the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on twitter at @michaeljohn391.