By CONOR NICHOLL
Southeast-Cherokee boys’ basketball has enjoyed its best record in years, including 11-0 in the Three Rivers League. On Feb. 22, the Lancers completed their regular season with a 53-29 win at Pleasanton. On Tuesday, Southeast won its 2A sub-state quarterfinal contest with a 61-50 win against Uniontown.
Head coach Dan Wall and assistants Wes Leach and Dustin McMinn have an experienced junior and senior roster. SE has four seniors: Nate Jacobs, Cooper Hamblin, Damien Woods and Dereck Burger. Jacobs and Hamblin are the team’s most experienced players.
Plus, the Lancers have a number of juniors: John Turpen, Drake Guymon, Cade Burdette, Easton Renn, Tucker Jameson, Dakota Smith, Wyatt Scales and Landon Cole.
Burdette is a returning first team all-league player, and Renn honorable mention. Notably, Jacobs has enjoyed some solid games, including three steals versus Pleasanton and five against Oswego in a game in February.
SE is the No. 2 seed in the Uniontown sub-state behind Erie (17-3).
Last season, Cherokee finished 13-8, including 8-1 in the TRL. The only loss was a 44-30 defeat to Crest on Feb. 5. That was a six-win improvement from a 7-14 season in ’19-20.
Cherokee have typically struggled in recent seasons. SE-Cherokee went 10-11, 8-3 in ’18-19. The Lancers were 6-14 in ’16-17. Cherokee went 7-14 in ’14-15.
Wall won a championship with 4A Coffeyville with a 20-5 record in 2001. Wall cleared 600 career wins in 2019. He took over SE-Cherokee in ’16 and has coached more than 40 seasons. He led Coffeyville for 21 seasons. He also led Independence Community College to a national title in 1977.
Southeast-Cherokee has three all-time state appearances, in ’88, ’03 and ’05, according to Kansas historian Carol Swenson. Southeast will play Yates Center in the sub-state semifinals Friday.