|Southeast POY DeAngela Mathis|
It’s always been John Harder’s dream to take his Southeast High girls basketball team to Tobacco Road to his players could personally see one of the country’s basketball hotbeds.The Hall of Fame coach was able to do that this week and his players rewarded him with a 7-1 record that gave the Seminoles the runner-up spot in the prestigious girls’ high school tournament on the North Carolina University of campus. Harder said the program raised $5,000 to make the trip possible.
“I was able to take them to Duke for a tour on Sunday and then play in the North Carolina tournament Monday through Wednesday,” Harder said. “Seeing the Dean Dome and all of the history at UNC was a great experience. I went to a Dean Smith workshop when I was a young coach and to go there and see of its basketball tradition and its tributes to Michael Jordan was special.”The MVP of the North Carolina tournament for Southeast was Desante Jordan. She joined fellow senior (class of 2013) Bre Nice. Both enrolled at Southeast last year from Manatee, but were unable to play because of transfer rules.
“I haven’t had a team in the last couple of years who I thought could play in tournament like this until now,” Harder said. “Those two seniors should fit in nice with three junior starters I have coming back from last year (including Bradenton Herald Player of the Year DeAngela Mathis).”
The Southeast girls won four games by two points and one in overtime, they lost in the championship game to a state champion from Ohio, Harder said.