Southeast Lauderdale navigates winter weather to prep for basketball playoffs

Southeast Lauderdale Tigers banner in gymnasium
Southeast Lauderdale Tigers banner in gymnasium(WTOK Sports)
Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 11:26 PM CST
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - With winter storms hitting Mississippi hard this week, area basketball teams have been forced to navigate staying safe while also getting in practices for this week’s playoffs. Unsafe road conditions have made it difficult for teams to get to the gym, forcing many to only get in one or two practices before their matchup.

Southeast Lauderdale’s boys and girls basketball teams were finally able to practice on Wednesday for Friday’s contests at Tylertown.

“Words can’t express how excited I was to see my kids,” Southeast Lauderdale boys basketball head coach Centel Truman said. “For the most part everyone had their power and were safe. Being able to see the kids’ faces and the anticipation for the playoffs made us all excited.”

The Tigers enter Friday’s first round playoff matchup as the No. 4 seed. They’ll face No. 1 Tylertown, a team that is loaded with plenty of talented shooters.

“They shoot extremely well, especially in their gym. They have three or four guys who can shoot it very well from the three-point line,” Coach Truman said. “We have to really defend the three-point line, run them away from it and force them to take bad shots. Hopefully we can also make them take charges.”

Roman Hudnall is the only senior on the boys’ team. Even with this season’s young squad, he has confidence they can get the job done if they do all the little things right.

”I feel like we (Southeast Lauderdale) have always been the underdogs, so it’s not really a new feeling,” Hudnall said. “As long as we stay focused, play as a team and do what coach tells us to do, I feel like we can be as good as we want to be.”

Southeast Lauderdale girls have history with Tylertown’s girls team, which makes Friday’s matchup a must-watch.

”They came in last year and upset us and the year before we went there and upset them. That year they only lost a couple of games,” Southeast Lauderdale girls basketball head coach Dana Buchanan said. “The key for us is getting the offense into a flow. If we can get into that flow then we’re going to give ourselves a chance to win.”

The Lady Tigers are the No. 3 seed while the Lady Chiefs are the No. 2 seed. Senior guard J’Nyah Moore said the mistakes made in last season’s 47-42 loss to Tylertown have helped the Lady Tigers realize what they need to prevent from happening this time around.

“We lost last year due to not being able to make layups and free throws. If we can work on that more then hopefully we’ll be able to pull through,” Moore said. “Ever since the start of district games we’ve been playing a lot more together. We’ve been playing all together now instead of one.”

The girls’ game will be played Friday at 6:00 pm with the boys’ matchup following after at 7:30 pm.

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