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BASKETBALL: Leonard Harper-Baker and Darryl Bingham's 40 combined points, propel Southeastern to a 54-51 win over East English Village Prep

   | Branden Hunter

BASKETBALL: Leonard Harper-Baker and Darryl Bingham's 40 combined points, propel Southeastern to a 54-51 win over East English Village Prep

DETROIT - It wasn't their prettiest win of the year, but Detroit Southeastern is a grind it out team. The Jungaleers defeated division foe, Detroit East English Village Prep today, 54-51, in a nail biter.

"We played well for two and a half quarters," coach George Ward said. "We just didn't match their intensity in the second half and I don't know what that was about."

You would think Southeastern had lost the game with the way Ward was talking, but as a coach, you want the best out of your players. Southeastern led 30-17 at halftime and a basket by senior Leonard Harper-Baker to open the third pushed their lead to fifteen, at 32-17.

"We came out early and with a lot of energy, Harper-Baker said. "We somewhat got into a rhythm early, getting inside a lot of scoring."

Southeastern controlled the first half and looked to be on it's way to an easy win. But the Bulldogs refused to go away and their way back in the game in the third.

Mar'Qywell Jackson grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back in, to make the score 39-30, with 1:45 left in the third. Southeastern's big lead had disappeared just like that and entered the fourth with a 39-34 lead. 

"It just seemed like we coasted a little bit, like we had the game in hand," Ward said. "And then when they came back, it was kind of like we were surprised.

We knew we were going to be in a dog fight, at least this last half we were."

Southeastern led 43-42, with 5:31 left in the game, but a lay-up by Cedrick Lattimore allowed East English Village to regain the lead at, 44-43. After being fouled on a 3-point attempt, sophomore Karmari Newman sank all three free throws, giving them the 47-43 lead with 4:31 left in the game.

Harper-Baker responded with a 3-pointer on the next possession down, pulling Southeastern within one. Keyon Oliver's basket with 3:37 to go regained the lead for Southeastern at 48-47 and they never looked back.

"Coming out of halftime they were hungry," Harper-Baker said. "We weren't boxing out, they got some put backs and started rushing things."

Down 52-47 now, consecutive buckets by Newman and Nate Boleware made the score 52-51. A Darryl Bingham dunk shortly after have Southeastern the 54-51 lead with 37.5 seconds left in the game and the Bulldogs running out of time.

Missed free throws my Southeastern gave East English Village Prep one more look at tying it, but a half court heave by Jackson with 1.8 seconds left wasn't even close.

Jackson finished with 13 points and 17 rebounds, while Newman quietly scored 20. Harper-Baker led all scorers with 23 and Bingham added 17 points and 9 rebounds of his own.

Southeastern has won three straight and are looking good in the PSL standings. East English Village Prep fail to 0-3 in league play.

"We made some key plays and baskets down the stretch and know we will see these guys again," said Ward.