Mo inches closer, SEL boys fall in thriller
By By Richard Dark/The Meridian Star
The Southeast Lauderdale Tigers and Enterprise Bulldogs were both winless coming into Tuesday night's game, so something had to give.
The Tigers' 35-game losing slide continued despite a furious fourth-quarter rally, as the Bulldogs improved to (1-2) under head coach Mark Davis with the 82-79 win.
It looked as if that's what the Bulldogs would do, as they built on a slim 39-36 halftime lead by using pressure defense and hot shooting to embark on a 16-2 run that was fueled by treys from Corey Boggan, who led his team in scoring with 21 points, and Bryan Bester who added 18.
Bester's three-point play put EHS up 60-41 with 2:43 in the third quarter. Then Southeast staged a 12-3 run to get back to within 10 at the end of the frame.
Anthony Horner, who finished with 21, began the spurt with a triple. Willie Hood, who had a game-high 24 for Southeast, ended it with at the buzzer with three-ball of his own.
Horner hit another runner to start the fourth and the 0-5 Tigers slapped on the press. Hood's steal and layup followed by a putback from Horner brought the crowd to its feet and pulled SEL to within 66-61.
Boggan and Bester put in buckets to move the margin back up to nine, before Hood dropped another long-range bomb to stir the crowd further.
Both teams traded baskets in the rapid-fire closing minutes, and EHS looked to have it wrapped up until SEL began to hit its free-throws. EHS couldn't do the same and with 45.4 to go, the lead was trimmed back to five, at 80-75.
Don Moore scored off the broken press to push the lead to 82-75. Horner added two quick baskets that were sandwiched around missed foul shots from Bester. The Tigers had the ball with 5.3, but Bester atoned for his misses by intercepting the long inbounds pass.
Southeast Lady Tigers 82, Enterprise Lady Bulldogs 29: Joe Miller's Lady Tigers jumped out to a 20-4 lead early in the game and never looked back, as Monique Horner inched closer to the state's all-time scoring mark by pumping in 31 before leaving the game in the third quarter.
Lesley Ruffin added 17 for SEL.
Media and school officials originally thought Horner had entered the season with a career total of 3,393, but a close inspection of all records showed a net gain of 11 points at the beginning of this campaign. With her 31-point effort Tuesday, the Lady Tiger guard now has 3,610 and needs just 37 more points to break the all-time record held by Tarsha Bethley, who played at Hollandale Simmons from 1990-1995.
The Tigers and Lady Tigers (4-2) resume play Thursday in the Lauderdale County Tournament. Horner will go for the record when Southeast takes the floor at 4 p.m. Thursday.
EHS (0-7) was led by Jerra Cook's nine-point effort.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for the Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.