When the Southeast girls want to extend possessions, they pass the ball until every player has touched it while the bench players yell the number of passes.
The strategy works best when the Buffaloes have the lead, so it didn't make its debut Friday until the fourth quarter.
But once Southeast grabbed the lead, it didn't let go, carrying a 10-point fourth-quarter advantage to a 49-36 home win over Northwest, pulling into a third-place City League tie with the Grizzlies.
"It's just a reminder to pass the ball around the horn and take it out for one shot," Southeast coach LaToya Randle said. "I tell them to do 15 passes in practice, and it's just reminding ourselves that, 'OK, we're running our offense right now.' "
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With the score tied 30-30 in the final seconds of the third quarter, Southeast point guard and leading scorer Jamillah Bonner dribbled around the perimeter looking for a shot.
Northwest knew she was the go-to option, and the Grizzlies' defense on her left Kerisha Broadus open on the left win. Bonner found Broadus, who swished the three-pointer to give the Buffaloes the lead for good.
"That was great," Bonner said. "I was going to shoot, but I saw (Broadus) open and decided to kick it out because I knew we needed those points."
Though not much bigger than the Grizzlies, Southeast dominated the game's physical aspects.
The Buffaloes grabbed 23 offensive rebounds — 16 in the first half — took eight more free throws than Northwest and contributed to the Grizzlies' 27 turnovers with a trap defense.
Northwest adjusted at the beginning of the second half, but the adjustments didn't last long. Southeast gradually pulled away and held Northwest to eight points in the final 13:31.
Southeast's pressure often forced Northwest into rushed three-pointers, but the Grizzlies missed 13 of 15 three-point attempts.
"They were the aggressor, no doubt," Northwest coach Jim Mernagh said. "We were right there going into the fourth quarter, and they really capitalized on our mistakes. They scored on just about every mistake we made in the fourth quarter."
Bonner led all players with 17 points and 14 rebounds, scoring nine points in the fourth quarter.
But the X-factor for Southeast was center Tre'Awn Garnes. Usually a defensive presence, Garnes scored 10 points while helping Southeast contain Northwest's post players.
"We set a goal at the beginning of the year to hold teams under 40 points," Randle said. "We have the talent, but at times we're undisciplined. Tonight we were very disciplined and they only hit 36 points, so we met our goal."
Northwest (6-3, 5-3) 10 10 10 6 — 36 Southeast (6-3, 5-3) 10 9 14 16 — 49
NORTHWEST: Nolen 1 0-1 2, Caldwell 4 1-3 10, M. Millspaugh 0 2-2 2, Shine 2 5-6 9, Simon 4 2-3 11, A. Millspaugh 0 0-0 0, Wood 0 0-0 0, Loganbill 1 0-0 2, McAlpine 0 0-1 0. Totals 12 (2) 10-16 36.
SOUTHEAST: Gates 0 2-2 2, Jamillah Bonner 6 5-6 17, Broadus 3 0-0 8, Thompson 2 2-4 6, Garnes 4 2-6 10, Maxwell 1 0-4 2, Montgomery 0 0-2 0, Jamisha Bonner 0 0-0 0, Clark 2 0-0 4. Totals 18 (2) 11-24 49.