By THE HERALD-WHIG
AUGUSTA, Ill. -- Todd Fox knows in time the Central boys basketball team will be tough to beat.
The Panthers haven't gotten out of football mode just yet.
"They are behind the eight-ball, and we know that," said Fox, the Southeastern coach.
The Suns took advantage of that. Southeastern held Central to just six points in the first quarter, withstood the Panthers' increased pressure in the second half and pulled out a 38-23 victory Tuesday night in the Suns Classic.
Southeastern, which won just eight games the previous two seasons combined, is off to a 2-0 start with a matchup against West Hancock looming Wednesday.
"Our main focus is getting our kids to play hard and focus," Fox said.
Southeastern outscored Central 13-4 in the third quarter as Matthew Ramsey scored seven of his 10 points to help the Suns build a 12-point edge.
Shea Flesner led Southeastern with 12 points, while Ryan Slater added 10.
"On the offensive end, we did a better job handling their pressure," Fox said.
"We did a better job of taking care of the basketball and making better decisions."
Cole Phillips scored eight points for Central, which had just one varsity player practicing prior to the football team's loss Saturday in the Class 2A state semifinals.
In Tuesday's opening game, Paxton Harmon scored 17 of his game-high 21 points in the first half as West Hancock remained unbeaten with a 50-26 victory over Unity.
Harmon went 7 of 9 from the line and made five field goals in the opening half.
Austin Hardy made a par of 3-pointers and finished with 12 points for the Titans.
Alex Blickhan scored seven points for Unity, which was limited to four points in the first quarter and single digits in every quarter.