Meridian Star


November 12, 2013

Tigers find their footing, beat Choctaw Co., 60-42

MERIDIAN — The Southeast Lauderdale girls' basketball team earned a bit of redemption in the young season with a 60-42 win over Choctaw County (Alabama) at home in the Southeast Classic on Tuesday night.

    Southeast dropped a two-point decision, 56-54, to Union on Saturday in the season opener. Tuesday's win elevated the reigning Class 3A champions to even (1-1).  

    "I was real disappointed on Saturday in our effort, I feel much better today," Southeast head coach Joe Miller said.

    Timara Trussell scored 17 of  her 27 points in the second half as Southeast pulled away from the visiting Tigers. Shakira Shoemaker finished the night with 10 points.

    "Timara Trussell is playing big ball for us right now," Miller said. "Played good ball on Saturday ... tonight I thought she played a really good ball game."

    The game got off a slow start with both sides missing multiple shots before Choctaw County's Tonje Willis drained the first field goal for two points with 6:30 left in the quarter. Her second basket of the night from just inside the arc knotted the game at 8-8 with 2:31 on the clock.

    The tie game forced the home team to wake up as it closed out the first quarter with a 6-2 run and opened the second on a 9-4 run capped by with a 3-pointer by Trussell.

    Choctaw County's Angelique Chess attempted to chip away at the deficit with a field goal just before the buzzer, but went halftime down 29-16.

    After the break, Choctaw County looked like it had stolen a page from Southeast, blazing out on an 8-0 to cut the game to five points, 29-24, with 5:24 left in the third quarter.

    "We made a few little mistakes, let them get back under 10," Miller said. "I was a little worried right there ... we've got a tendency that when we've got a lead to slack up and let back people back in the game. We cannot do that."

    Southeast eventually snapped the visitor's run with a sprint of its own. Shoemaker capped a 10-2 run with a layup that pushed Southeast's lead back to 10 points, 39-29, but the home Tigers didn't stop there, closing the third quarter on a 9-3 run.

    The fourth quarter opened with dueling shots, but court position played a key as Southeast's Chariea Harbin and Trussell each drained a 3-pointer during the opening six-basket exchange, 56-39.

    Choctaw County's Chess connected on a final 3-pointer to make it 60-42 with 47 seconds left in regulation, but couldn't pull any closer.  

    "I'm pretty happy with the play tonight, somethings we have to clean up. We have to hustle a little better. Our post people have to get to where they can make layups more consistently, but I understand they haven't played much either," Miller said.

    Southeast Lauderdale will not play its schedule girls-boys doubleheader at Quitman on Thursday due to both schools' football teams still being in playoffs. Instead, SOutheast will look forward to a week of Lauderdale County competition. The Tigers will host Northeast Lauderdale on Tuesday and West Lauderdale on Thursday.   

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