Southeastern falls to Romulus, 61-49
Class A State Final at MSU
By Harry M. Anderson, Jr.
Special to the Michigan Citizen
DETROIT — Southeastern put up a good fight but came up short at the MHSAA Class A Boys State Final March 23 at the Breslin Center on the campus of Michigan State University. The Jungaleers (21-6) lost to Romulus, 61-49.
“It’s not a bad consolation at the end of the season,” said Southeastern head coach George Ward, Jr. “Romulus did a very good job because they were more aggressive and experienced. You can’t make up for that.
“We did a decent job defensively, but we didn’t hit our shots. Our kids are very good because we’re mentally tough. I take my hat off to them because they kept playing hard and never quit.”
Southeastern was led by seniors Jovone Haynes and Kwesi Williams and juniors Daryl Bingham and Leonard Harper-Baker. Haynes scored 16 points and made six steals. Williams scored 10 points made six rebounds and had three steals. Bingham had 10 points and five rebounds, while Harper-Baker had five points, five rebounds, two blocked shots and one steal.
The Jungaleers trailed 19-10 after the first quarter and 28-20 at the half. The third quarter did them in when they were outscored 23-12 by the Eagles (27-1) and trailed 51-32 going into the final period. Southeastern outscored Romulus 17-10 in the fourth quarter, but it was too little, too late.
In the March 22 semi-finals, Southeastern defeated the defending state champions from Saginaw 51-45 to earn the right to play in the championship game. The Jungaleers hit 17 of 25 free throws as Bingham scored 14, Haynes 13 and Williams eight. In the March 19 quarter-finals at the University of Detroit Mercy’s Calihan Hall, Southeastern defeated Rochester in a low-scoring contest, 54-49. The Jungaleers got 18 points from senior guard Jovone Hayes. Senior Kwesi Williams scored 13 while senior guard Nathan Taylor and junior forward Daryl Bingham added eight points each.
“It feels good to represent the city,” Ward said. “It would’ve been great to meet up with Pershing in the finals. We hope we represent the city with pride and dignity.”
Although Southeastern is graduating 11 seniors, Ward said he has five juniors returning and moving seven players up from the junior varsity.
“We feel that the new talent from the junior varsity will fill some important shoes,” he said. “We feel very confident about next year.”
Ward says Southeastern’s program is headed in the right direction and the team will keep working toward the next season.