Southeast's uncharacteristic poor rebounding was part of two season-opening boys basketball losses, and it didn't change much Tuesday night at second-ranked East.
The Buffaloes were outrebounded by 17 in a loss to Bishop Carroll last week, and East nine more rebounds — nine offense — at halftime Tuesday.
"They killed us on the boards," Southeast coach Carl Taylor said. "We weren't doing our job blocking out and crashing the boards like (East was)."
Taylor told the Buffaloes just that as they went into halftime down by nine. They listened.
Southeast outrebounded East in the second half and got its first win, 67-64.
"I did a poor job in the first half rebounding," said Southeast junior Gavin Thurman, who scored a game-high 25 points and had four rebounds. In the second half, "I tried to put my body on someone, keep them out of the lane.... We rebound the whole game like we did in the second half, we'll be all right."
Teammate Hayden Harris had six of his team-high eight rebounds in the second half.
East (3-1, 2-1 City League) had control early, taking a 31-17 lead with 6:21 to go in the first half.
Ja'ln Williams scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half, while Jalen Love had 12 of his 16 before the break.
Southeast (1-2) kept it close with several runs, but East was able to pull away consistently until midway through the third quarter.
"There were times our defense was pretty good and the only way they were able to score was Gavin, who's exceptional, getting in the lane and using his length," East coach Ron Allen said. "You can't fault that."
After a 5-0 run put East up 47-41, Thurman hit a jumper in the lane. Reggie Williams followed with a layup in transition and Thurman got a dunk following a Khaeem Ransom steal to get within 48-47.
"We got them down; we proved we can do that," Allen said. "But we got away from what we did."
With the score tied at 52-all after the third quarter, Ransom and D'avonte Garland scored on fastbreaks for the four-point lead.
East had several chances even though it trailed Southeast leading by three with 28 seconds to go.
In the final 15 seconds, Williams missed two free throws and a three in the final 10 seconds hit off the front of the rim.
"I don't think we executed very well on offense," Allen said. "I don't think we executed like we're capable of. We've been scoring and putting points up fairly good. But we got stale tonight. I'd say it was their defense that slowed our offense down."
Southeast (1-2, 1-2) 15 18 19 15 — 67 East (3-1, 2-1) 22 20 10 12 — 64
SOUTHEAST: Thurman 9 6-8 25, Harris 3 3-6 10, Gunter 2 0-0 4, Brooks 1 0-1 3, Williams 5 1-2 11, Ransom 4 2-2 10, Garland 2 0-0 4. Totals 26 (3) 12-19 67.
EAST: Jackson 7 3-4 17, McFann 2 0-0 4, Melbert 4 1-2 9, Williams 5 1-4 12, Love 6 2-5 16, Burris 2 0-0 4, Graham 1 0-0 2, King 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 (3) 7-15 64.