Redhawks roll over Hannibal-LaGrange Titans for third win of season
Southeast’s men’s basketball coach Rick Ray was eager to see how his team responded after a tough four-game stretch in the Cancun Classic in Cancun, Mexico, over the Thanksgiving Break. The Redhawks responded with a dominant 83-59 victory over NAIA school Hannibal-LaGrange on Tuesday at the Show Me Center.
To start the game, the Redhawks seemed a bit shaky on both defense and offense after the Titans won the opening tip-off.
They went scoreless for the first three minutes and seemed to be trying to find their game plan even though the game was already in play.
The Redhawks needed someone to step up and get their side of the ball rolling and the six foot 10-inch Junior Center Mark Laros responded by rumbling through Hannibal-LaGrange defenders and putting up 10 points before the ten minute mark of the first half.
“We definitely felt we had a considerable size advantage over our opponents, and we just wanted to get Mark the ball and get more paint touches,” Ray said.
For the rest of the first half, Southeast could not find a way to shake off the Titans and run away with the score, as Hannibal-LaGrange continued to find different ways to poke holes in the Redhawks’ rather shaky defense.
The Titans tied the score three times before the half and frustrated Ray said, “I told these guys there is no reason we can’t defend the Hannibal forwards,” and Freshman forward Ledarrius Brewer mentioned, “We took what Coach said seriously and made defense our main focus to start the second half.”
For most of the second half, Redhawk defenders got in the faces of Titan attackers, forced turnovers, and forced their opponents to make plays that resulted in missed shots and Hannibal-LaGrange forwards tumbled to the floor after failing to climb over defenders. By the end of the half, the Titans could only muster 26 points.
Offensively, the Redhawks came out of the locker room looking ready to compete in the second half as sophomore Denzel Mahoney, a guard/forward showed why he may be the most talented player on the Southeast roster.
He did that by doing what he does best:finishing hard plays in the paint and sneaking in a few three pointers over unprepared Titan players.
Ray was really impressed by Mahoney’s play. “What he was doing in the second half and how he was doing it is how you have success in your basketball career,” Ray said.
Mahoney finished the game with 27 points and allowed for the Redhawks to distance themselves from the Titans by twenty points in the dying minutes of the game.
The Redhawks improved their overall record to 3-4 during the early part of this 2017- 2018 season and they look forward to a good looking matchup at North Carolina Central on Dec. 2 at 6 p.m.
After the one game road trip in North Carolina against the Eagles, the Redhawks will return home to face UKMC on Dec. 6. The 6:30 p.m. contest will also be Star Wars Night at the Show Me Center.