Hassen Kurtu (left) was a finishing machine for the Seahawks, registering 26 points off 66% shooting from the field.

South Lakes showcases program depth in victory over Yorktown

Neither team was at full strength and they will see each other again, likely when the stakes are higher. But there’s no question #15 South Lakes’ 87-69 road victory at #7 Yorktown was a statement win for the Seahawks.

Faced with a Yorktown team that wears its opponents down with mass substitutions and up-tempo ball, South Lakes didn’t back down. Despite missing two starters to injury (Oliver Giaon, Jerome Scott), Mike Desmond’s Seahawks still went 12 deep in the first quarter and got contributions from everyone. It was a remarkable display of program depth.

“We’ve had a lot of guys play this year,” Desmond said. “I think it really helped us to have guys come in early and play well.”

Eight Seahawks scored in the first quarter as South Lakes (4-0, 13-3) took a 25-14 lead. What made that even more impressive was star senior guard Joseph Dagbe wasn’t one of those players. Dagbe wasn’t much of a factor early, picking up his second foul late in the first quarter. The Seahawks didn’t play him the entire second quarter, still managing to extend their lead to 45-27 by halftime.

South Lakes' Matthew Lauture had an impressive all-around game with 15 points and seven assists.
South Lakes’ Matthew Lauture had an impressive all-around game with 15 points and seven assists.

Dagbe did play a lot in the second half, scoring 11 points and helping to break the Yorktown full court pressure with his quickness. But his teammates were effective at that as well. Sophomore guard Kyle Tang did a great job handling the ball off the bench, while junior guard Matthew Lauture impressed with his passes, registering seven assists.

Several of those assists were to senior forward Hassen Kurtu. Kurtu helped handle against the press, but also manned the block and converted bucket after bucket at the rim. He finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds.

He was the star of the evening, but there’s no question this victory belonged to the entire team. 11 players scored, 11 players registered an assist, and 11 players got at least one rebound on the night. The team defense was very good also, as the Seahawks held the potent Yorktown offense to under 35% shooting from the field.

Yorktown (2-2, 14-2) was led by senior John Pius, who had a nice game off the bench with 16 points and eight boards. He and junior center John Sondheim did a lot of damage in the third quarter, as the Patriots cut the deficit to ten points. But Lauture made a nice play at the end of the quarter, following his own miss at the buzzer to kick the lead back up to 12. Yorktown never got closer after that.

South Lakes' Kurtu dives and gets a loose ball on the floor, saving a possession for his team.
South Lakes’ Kurtu dives and gets a loose ball on the floor, saving a possession for his team.

The Patriots will get another crack at South Lakes. They were missing talented point guard Brandon Warner on the evening and should play better next time around. But the Seahawks have been Liberty District champs for as long as we’ve been a website. On this evening they sent a message to Yorktown and the rest of the district that they’re still the team to beat.

“We have some depth,” Desmond told us. “We needed it against Yorktown–hats off to them. They played extremely hard, they’re extremely well-coached, they have dudes. Our dudes just made more plays tonight.”

–Chris Jollay

all stats are unofficial

DAGBE 3-7 5-8 11 4 2
KURTU 12-18 2-4 26 11 3
LAUTURE 5-11 5-6 15 7 7
LOGAN 2-4 0-0 4 2 0
COPPAGE 5-12 1-1 11 7 1
Castleberry 1-3 0-0 2 2 0
Brennan 2-3 0-0 4 1 1
Tang 1-1 1-2 3 3 2
Cooley 1-2 2-2 4 3 3
Owen 1-2 0-0 2 2 1
Hurt 2-2 0-0 5 1 1
Finney 0-0 0-0 0 0 1
TOTALS 35-65 16-23 87 43 22
Threes: Hurt 1-1, Owen 0-1, Brennan 0-1, Logan 0-1, Kurtu 0-1, Dagbe 0-1
ANDERSEN 3-14 5-9 12 2 3
BELAY 0-6 0-0 0 2 5
STROUP 3-7 3-3 11 2 1
LINCOLN 2-10 1-2 7 5 1
SONDHEIM 4-8 0-5 8 3 2
Pius 7-13 2-4 16 8 1
Short 2-5 0-0 6 5 2
deButts 0-0 1-2 1 2 1
Coulam 0-0 0-0 0 0 1
Burris 1-2 2-2 5 4 0
Davis 1-2 0-0 3 0 0
TOTALS 23-67 14-27 69 33 17
Threes: Short 2-5, Stroup 2-6, Lincoln 2-7, Burris 1-1, Davis 1-2, Andersen 1-3, Sondheim 0-1, Pius 0-1, Belay 0-3