CHEROKEE — It was an non-league matchup, but a rivalry nonetheless, as Southeast High School split a pair of games with Northeast at home on Friday night.
After the Viking girls picked up a win in first game of the night, the Lancer boys came away with a win to earn the split.
CHOATE LEADS NHS GIRLS TO WIN
Northeast had several opportunities to pull away, but the Lancers weren’t giving up easily, making the Vikings earn every point in their 62-53 win.
The Vikings’ win was credited mostly to the scoring contribution from Kelsea Choate, who poured in 31 points on eight 3-pointers, including the final free throws to seal the win.
With four minutes left in regulation, the Lancers cut the deficit to 56-49 after scoring five unanswered points, with three points by Sailor Jackson and two from Bailee Ulery.
The Lancers inched closer at 58-53 after Jessie Jenkins and Ulrey combined for four points in back-to-back possessions.
It was too little, too late, as the intentional-fouling strategy was negated by the quality free throw shooting of Choate, who scored the final five points of the contest at the charity stripe.
The game opened up appropriately, with a 3-pointer by Choate to give the Vikings a 3-0 lead.
Northeast began to pull away after a 7-1 run to jump out to a quick 13-7 lead in the first quarter.
The run included four points by Autumn Walker, two points by Choate and one point from Kyla Zornes.
NHS extended its lead to 30-13 in the second quarter, thanks to an 8-0 run, which was highlighted by six points from Choate.
The Lancers responded with an 8-0 run of their own before halftime, which cut their deficit to 30-21.
Southeast came to within seven points of the lead at 38-31, after outscoring Northeast 8-3 to begin the third quarter.
The run was sparked by a quick two points by Taylor Myrick to begin the second half, and included three points apiece by Jackson and Ulery.
Holding a 44-38 going into the final eight minutes of play, the Vikings scored eight unanswered points to begin the fourth quarter — with six by Choate — to cushion the lead to 52-38, before hanging on for the victory.
Choate stole the spotlight with her 31-point contribution, but Haley Claffey also had a good night, scoring nine points.
For the Lancers, Ulery was the leading scorer with 20 points.
Jackson and MaKayla Buffington shot the ball well, scoring 11 points apiece.
LANCER BOYS PULL AWAY FOR WIN
After the Lancer girls came up empty in the opening game, the boys’ team avenged the loss with a 60-51 win over the Vikings in a quick-paced game.
The Vikings were trailing by 14 points early in the fourth quarter, but scored eight consecutive points to come to within 52-46.
The Lancers protected the lead by outscoring Northeast 8-3 to push the lead to 60-49 on the way to the win.
Zach Adkins put the Vikings on the scoreboard to open up the game with a free throw, but Southeast quickly took the lead after a 12-2 run.
The run included five points by Dylan Wilson, three points by Hayden Wilson and two points apiece from Colton Trejo and Shane Hendricks.
Northeast responded with seven consecutive points — four points by Kadin Dugan — to come within two points, 14-12, just before the end of the first quarter.
Trejo extended the Lancer lead to 17-12 after making a half-court shot at the buzzer to end the opening eight minutes.
The Lancers gradually pulled away in the second quarter, before ending the first half with an 8-2 run to go into the halftime holding a 34-20 lead.
Southeast extended the lead out to 43-25 in the third quarter, but the Vikings stayed within striking distance at 50-38 thanks to a 10-2 run to end the third quarter.
The run included five points by Matt Cashero, three by Zach Adkins and two from Ethan Balk.
Dylan Wilson opened up the final quarter with two points to add to the Lancers’ lead-- before they went on to outlast the Vikings for the win.
Trejo was the offensive catalyst for the Lancers, posting 22 points on the night.
Jake McDowell was the offensive leader for the Vikings, with a team-high 14 points.
-- Jordan Buckamneer is a sports reporter of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at email@example.com and follow him on twitter @jbuckamneer.