Varsity Basketball

NW puts late clamps on SE

Southeast boys basketball coach Carl Taylor was ready to hit his breaking point. All he needed was a reason.

He got it after watching his Golden Buffaloes score three points in the fourth quarter to turn a close game into a 60-49 loss to Northwest.

Southeast has lost three of four games since beating then-No. 1 Heights on Dec. 15, and Taylor is searching for answers.

"I'm like a volcano about ready to explode," Taylor said after watching what he called the Buffaloes' worst quarter in his 18 seasons.

The strategy for limiting Southeast in the fourth quarter was simple for the Grizzlies — contain post players Kevin Gunter and Gavin Thurman.

Gunter and Thurman, both 6-foot-6, combined for 30 points during the first three quarters, but a sagging defense kept them from getting the ball much in the fourth. They went scoreless on three shots in the final eight minutes.

"That was the focus," Northwest coach Chris Collins said. "They were both killing us on that high post. We went to our zone defense, but we didn't have anybody who was keyed in on that area. So we had to adjust and take the ball out of their hands, because those two alone can kill you."

Not having Gunter and Thurman as crutches forced Southeast's guards into rushed shots in the final quarter.

No one picked up the missing offense — Gunter and Thurman made 15 of 24 shots and the rest of the Buffaloes were 6 for 34.

Taylor put some of the blame on his players for not working harder to get the ball.

"If the big boys do like I tell them, they can't be stopped," Taylor said. "Gavin finally showed some spurts. The boy can play, but he's just soft, man. It's frustrating."

Northwest found the balance Southeast was lacking. Six players scored at least seven points, with Anthony Collins and Craig Nicholson leading with 10 apiece.

The Grizzlies similarly banded together on defense, shutting down Southeast's guards and helping to force 10 Buffaloes turnovers in the second half.

"Their whole game is go down low — everything is go down low," Anthony Collins said. "If they had the outside shot, they'd take it, but we knew we had to shut down (Gunter and Thurman) and do our best to contain them."

Northwest (6-3, 6-2) 20 12 13 15 — 60 Southeast (3-6, 3-5) 13 19 14 3 — 49

NORTHWEST: Collins 4 2-5 10, Fox 4 0-1 8, Nicholson 4 2-5 10, Carson 4 0-0 9, Gales 2 0-0 4, Landenberger 3 1-1 7, Miller 1 1-2 3, Johnson 4 0-1 9. Totals 26 (2) 6-15 60.

SOUTHEAST: Williams 0 3-4 3, Brooks 0 0-0 0, Gunter 5 0-3 10, Gary Thurman 1 0-0 3, Gavin Thurman 10 0-2 20, Anderson 0 0-0 0, Ranson 1 0-0 2, Presley 1 0-0 3, Webb 1 1-2 3, Harris 2 0-1 5. Totals 21 (3) 4-12 49.

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