Sweeping Southeast in City League play meant something to the Heights boys basketball team. Southeast provided the only blemish on the Falcons' league record last season.
So Friday night's 86-68 win at Southeast may not have been the most competitive game the Falcons have played all season, but it counted as one of the more memorable ones.
"These kids want to win the City League really bad," Heights coach Joe Auer said. "It's really important to them. Our seniors still have a bad taste in their mouths from coming over here last year and losing that game. That was the only City League game we've lost in the last three years. It was important for our seniors to have a nice win tonight, and I thought they played like that."
Heights senior Evan Wessel scored 20 points. Wessel scored three consecutive layups in transition in the third quarter as part of a two-minute, 10-2 run for the Falcons. He finished his last basket by drawing the foul and hitting the layup. His free throw put Heights up 52-37 with 3:45 left in the third. Heights held off Southeast (6-7, 4-5) from there.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
"Anytime you can get a win in the City League, it is real good," Wessel said. "It feels better when we keep winning. Hopefully we can continue to get better and keep doing that."
Heights (14-0, 10-0) got a couple of prime performances from its juniors, too. Terrence Moore had a season-high 19 points, using his quick first step on backdoor cuts to get to the basket three times in the first quarter for six points. He then drained three straight three-pointers for 15 first-half points. Wessel found Moore on two of those backdoor cuts with assists.
"Terrence is a scorer," Auer said. "He showed you tonight. He hit some threes. He took people off the bounce. He had a dunk. The kid's got a lot of game. He's just starting to realize some of the things he can do. He's going to be a special player in the league and tonight was a great effort on his part. He's just scratching the tip of the iceberg."
Perry Ellis had 27 points and eight rebounds for Heights, making 13 for 17 from the foul line. He came out aggressively and attacked Southeast's most dominant player, Gavin Thurman, at every opportunity. Thurman had 12 points and fouled out with 2:33 left in the fourth quarter.
Southeast forward Hayden Harris had a team-high 20 points, doing his best to keep his team within striking distance, but in the end Heights had too much firepower.
"They have a good ball club. They have three solid players that can score and they play pretty good defense," Southeast coach Carl Taylor said of his players. "I'm not pleased with them completely, but I'm not upset with them. I was pleased with their effort, not their execution."
Heights (14-0, 10-0) 23 16 23 24 — 86 Southeast (6-7, 4-6) 13 17 17 21 — 68
HEIGHTS: Dobbins 3 0-0 6, Wessel 8 4-5 20, Smith 1 0-0 3, Moore 8 0-0 19, Degraffenread 2 0-0 4, Countee 2 0-1 4, Jefferson 1 0-0 3, Ellis 7 13-17 27. Totals 32 (5) 17-23 86.
SOUTHEAST: Williams 2 5-5 9, Brooks 1 0-0 2, Gunter 4 0-0 8, Thurman 6 0-0 12, Harris 6 8-12 20, Ransom 5 0-0 12, Garland 1 0-0 3, Loggins 1 0-0 2. Totals 26 (3) 13-17 68.