For the second time this season, the Northeast Community College men’s and women’s basketball teams fell short in games against counterparts from Southeast Community College.

The Hawks lost the men’s contest 87-76 after a come-from-behind bid ended on a “what-if” opportunity, while the women’s squad fell to the Storm 64-54 after leading by as many as 17 points on two different occasions in the first half.

“We had it down to nine points with a minute and 26 seconds left and called timeout on our next possession with 50 seconds left,” acting head coach Josh Clark said. “We said we didn’t want to take a 3 yet, that we wanted to drive it and get to the free throw line to stop the clock and get some points, because our ‘scramble’ was working. It was throwing them off. If we get it down to seven there, who knows what might have happened.”

“We didn’t get the shot we wanted and missed a 3, but I can’t fault the effort,” he said. “The guys are in the locker room, and they’re shot right now. I applaud them; they played their hearts out for us.”

The effort was especially pleasing because Northeast lost a road game to the Storm 99-61 less than two weeks ago in a game that Clark felt didn’t get the same effort by the Hawks.

“We were undersized tonight without Jared Lopez (injury), so that was tough, but the guards didn’t rebound as well as they could have,” Clark said. “But the way the guys played, the effort was everything, especially at the defensive end.”

Northeast trailed by as many as 15 points in the first half but closed the gap to 43-35 on back-to-back drives to the basket by Kanye Raheem, followed by a pull-up jumper at the free throw line by Jai’lyn Spears and a transition layup from Chaz Cullum.

Unfortunately, Southeast outscored the Hawks 17-6 to open the second half, increasing the lead to 19 points at 60-41 and forcing Northeast to battle back against deficits in the mid-teens the rest of the game.

That task was made more difficult due to Southeast’s size advantage that allowed the Storm to outrebound Northeast 52-26. Without the presence of the 6-foot 5 sophomore post player Lopez, only Evan Decker — a 6-5 sophomore who normally plays on the wing-— relocated to defend Southeast’s taller players inside but still managed to accumulate 14 game-high rebounds. None of the other Northeast players totaled more than four.

Southeast also gained an advantage at the free throw line by making 21 of 33, while the Hawks made 14 of their 19 chances.

Raheem came off the bench to lead Northeast — which fell to 2-5 on the season — in scoring with 21 points, followed by Decker’s 16 and Cullum’s 13.

In the women’s game, the Hawks hustled to a 21-4 first-quarter lead on the strength of Ashley Hassett’s nine points, but the Storm got untracked in the second period, outscoring Northeast 18-4 to cut its deficit to three points at 25-22. Although the Hawks rebuilt a 32-24 advantage at halftime, the second half belonged to Southeast — which outscored Northeast 22-10 in the third quarter and 18-12 in the fourth.

“I thought in that first quarter we were really locked in, at both ends of the floor,” Hawks coach Matt Svehla said. “I was thinking that was the best we had played all year, to hold them to just four points and to score 21 ourselves. And then they got more efficient, and we were less effective defending.”

“That can happen when you get scoring droughts. We scored 11, 10 and 12 in the second, third and fourth quarters,” he said. “We were 6 of 17 from the free throw line and 6 of 25 from 3, and neither of those things helped our cause.”

Northeast’s worst offensive production came in the third period, when the Hawks made just 3 of 14 field goal tries, which contributed to the team’s 34% field goal success in the game.

The Storm outrebounded Northeast 43-27, grabbing 33 defensive rebounds and preventing the Hawks from getting second chances during possessions.

“It wasn’t like they killed us with offensive rebounds, but there were times we got stops but then didn’t secure the basketball,” Svehla said. “We had some major breakdowns defensively; we just did not defend well at times. Sometimes it was penetration, sometimes we didn’t know who we were matched up with, sometimes it was in the post.”

Hassett led Northeast — now 3-5 — with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Molly Davis added 12 points. Lorna Maxon also contributed eight rebounds.

Men’s game

Southeast Community College 43 44 — 87

Northeast Community College 35 41 — 76

Southeast CC (3-3): Zavion Miitchell 7-7 2-5 16, Fai Germany 5-10 5-8 15, Tyson Lewis 3-10 4-6 11, Much Biel 5-15 2-3 12, Majhe Wiley 3-7 4-5 10, Trey Hepburn 2-6 0-0 4, Lucas Williams 1-3 0-2 2, Austin McKenzie 3-5 2-2 9, Jackson Townsen 0-2 2-2 2, Ater Louis 1-2 0-0 2, Blake Brewster 2-4 0-0 4. Totals: 32-71 21-33 87.

Northeast CC (2-5): Saheed Sanusi 2-9 1-2 5, Emaniel Alexandre 3-11 2-2 9, Evan Decker 4-15 7-8 16, Jaden Strachan 0-3 2-2 2, Chaz Cullum 6-13 0-0 13, Kanye Raheem 8-14 2-2 21, Trey Drummond III 0-1 0-0 0, Tanner Oestreich 1-1 0-0 2, Jai’lyn Spears 3-8 0-3 6, Will Forsythe 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 28-77 14-19 76.

Women’s game

Southeast Community College 4 20 22 18 — 64

Northeast Community College 21 11 10 12 — 54

Southeast CC (3-4): Hannah Macke 2-4 1-2 7, Josiee Sobotka 5-13 3-4 13, Hunter Hartshorn 1-3 0-0 3, Jordan Koehler 6-11 5-5 17, Kaylee Klover 5-11 0-2 10, Alexis Billeter 2-7 0-0 4, Hannah Gurney 0-1 0-0 0, Kody West-Linnett 2-5 0-0 6, Addy Esquivel 2-3 0-0 4. Totals: 25-58 9-13 64.

Northeast CC (3-5): Alexis Bliven 2-8 0-3 5, Molly Davis 5-7 0-0 12, Marta Pons 1-8 0-2 2, Ashley Hassett 8-19 3-8 19, Lorna Maxon 2-8 0-0 4, Destiny Epps 1-4 1-2 4, Autumn Dickmander 2-7 2-2 8. Totals: 21-61 6-17 54.

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