By Sara Welch | Correspondent
The visiting Southeast Pirates defeated the Waterloo Vikings 61-36 after gaining and maintaining an early lead Friday night in a Portage Trail Conference County Division matchup.
The Vikings started the first quarter hot on the Pirates' heels, only trailing by two points with 5:13 left on the clock. However, in the next two minutes of the game Southeast went on a 9-0 run and would eventually bury Waterloo under a 15-point deficit by the end of the quarter.
The Pirates (8-5, 6-2 PTC County) managed to sink five 3-pointer in the first quarter of the game. Lucas Bloom drained one, while Nate Simyak and Kenny Dillon each had two. Simyak and Dillon would finish as the high scorers with 14 points apiece.
"We were real happy with how Kenny Dillon and Nate Simyak shot the basketball, especially early in the game," Southeast head coach Matt Dillon said. "They took good shots, and when you take good shots you have a higher percentage of knocking those down. Both of those kids really got us going early."
The Vikings (1-12, 1-7 PTC County) fought back in the second quarter, outscoring Southeast by five points to inch their way back into the game before halftime.
Under the pressure of giving up a comeback victory, the Pirates came out of halftime and resumed the attitude they stepped onto the hardwood with in the first quarter. Holding the Vikings to only two pints in the third quarter, an increased defensive effort put them ahead 50-26 before the final quarter.
"We had a really good first quarter. We were a little lackadaisical in the second quarter," Dillon said. "One of the things we talked about at halftime was playing smart in the third quarter. We did a lot of good things in the third quarter to build our lead. We moved the ball well on offense, we took good shots, and defensively we played really tough in the third quarter."
As a result of their success in the third quarter the Pirates were able to work some younger players into their rotation, giving them an opportunity to gain some varsity experience.
"One of the things we've done in the past is to try to prepare our younger kids for the future," said Dillon. "We did that with Jordan Krych and Lucas Bloom last year, and we have a couple kids this year that we're trying to get a little more time to see how they react to the bigger crowd and the bigger atmosphere. Tonight they all played pretty well.
"Kade Norquest (5 points) got a little more time tonight. He rebounded the ball well and made a couple baskets for us. He's come a long way in our program."
Tom Saviers led the way for the Vikings with 11 points and six rebounds. Collin Michalec finished the game with eight points and nine rebounds, and Dale Miller had nine points.