By Rick Peterson

TopSports.news

In a game that went back and forth for all 36 minutes, Wichita Southeast landed the final and most important blow, with senior Mason Le hitting a driving layup as time ran out to give the Golden Buffaloes a 76-75 overtime win over Hayden in the first round of the Topeka Invitational Tournament Thurday at Topeka West.

Hayden senior Jake Muller scored with just 10 seconds remaining in OT to put the Wildcats up 75-74, but Southeast, which improved to 5-6, raced upcourt to get the game-winning hoop from Le, who finished with 27 points for the Buffs.

JoeOttingWSE2Senior Joe Otting scored a game-high 28 points in Hayden's 76-75 overtime loss to Wichita Southeast in the first round of the Topeka Invitational Tournament Thursday at Topeka West. [File photo/TSN]

While Hayden, ranked No. 10 in Class 4A, had plenty to feel good about in its performance against a 6A school, particularly on the offensive end, Hayden coach Dwayne Paul also pointed to several negatives in the one-point loss.

"Did they play hard? Yeah, but that's fake fight, fake toughness,'' Paul said. "Toughness is when you need your team do what's most important at its highest moment. Everything that we went over in practice the last couple of days was not great. Yeah, we made some shots, but no one should ever lose a game scoring (75) points. You shouldn't lose a game scoring (75) points, so it's soft.

"We got outplayed this game but all hats off to Wichita Southeast.'' 

The game started out close and stayed that way until the end.

Hayden, which fell to 4-5, led 13-11 at the end of the first quarter but Southeast fought back to tie the game at the half, 24-24.

Hayden led 47-44 at the end of the third quarter and opened up a brief eight-point advantage at 54-46 early in the fourth quarter, but the Buffs weren't done, storming back to take a 59-58 lead.

The Wildcats took a 61-59 avantage with 1:57 remaining on two free throws from senior Joe Otting, who led all scorers with 28 points, before Southeast regained the lead at 62-61 on a 3-point play from junior Jamari Berry with 1:44 left in regulation.

Otting answered for Hayden and junior Mister Cameron hit a free throw to give the Wildcats a 64-62 advantage with 34.9 seconds remaining but Le scored for Southeast to send the game to OT tied at 64.

There were two more ties and six lead changes in overtime before Le emerged as the hero.

Sophomore DJ Brown added 18 points for Southeast while senior Ismael Berry and junior J. Berry scored 10 apiece.

Muller backed Otting with 13 points while junior Dominic Ridley added 11 points with three 3-pointers and Cameron scored 10.

The Wildcats hurt themselves with a 15 of 29 performance at the free throw line while Southeast hit 12 of 14 charities.

With the win Wichita Southeast advanced to an 8:30 p.m. semifinal Friday night to face No. 1-ranked (Class 5A) Highland Park, a 67-36 winner over Shawnee Mission North.

Hayden will face SM North in a 5 p.m. consolation game Friday.

WICHITA SOUTHEAST 76, HAYDEN 75 (OT)

Wichita Southeast 11 13 20 20 12 -- 76

Hayden                   13 11 23 17 11 -- 75

Wichita Southeast (5-6) -- I. Berry 4 0-0 10, Le 11 3-3 27, Dinh 2 0-0 4, Brown 6 4-5 18, Love 1 0-0 2, J. Berry 3 4-5 10, Gardener 0 0-0 0, Holliday 2 0-0 5, Drury 0 0-0 0. Totals 29 12-14 76.

Hayden (4-5)-- Padilla 1 1-3 4, Muller 5 1-2 13, Cameron 4 2-3 10, Ham 1 0-2 2, Otting 10 8-15 28, Colbach 0 0-0 0, Foster 0 0-0 0, McGibboney 3 1-2 7, Charvat 0 0-0 0, Ridley 3 2-2 11.. Totals 27 15-29 75.

3-point goals -- Wichita Southeast 6 (I. Berry 2, Le 2, Holliday, Lover), Hayden 6 (Ridley 3, Muller 2, Padilla). Total fouls -- Wichita Southeast 24, Hayden  18. Fouled out -- Love, J. Berry. 

RESULTS THURSDAY

Highland Park 67, Shawnee Mission North 36

Wichita Southeast 76, Hayden 75 (OT)

Topeka West 55, Lansing 32

Lawrence 61, Topeka High 52 (OT)

GAMES FRIDAY

3:15 p.m. -- Topeka High vs. Lansing

5 -- Hayden vs. Shawnee Mission North

6:45 -- Lawrence vs. Topeka West

8:30 -- Highland Park vs. Wichita Southeast