Southeastern led for most of the game after the Jungaleers jumped out to a 9-3 lead. Southeastern took a six point lead into the fourth quarter but two quick baskets from Appling quickly erased the deficit.
The two teams stayed tied at 48-48 with about five minutes to play and that is when Appling took charge. First the 6-1 guard ripped down a rebound and took it the distance for a lay-up. On the ensuing play Appling poked a ball loose and turned it into a two handed dunk. Pershing never looked back after that sequence of plays.
Neither Appling nor Kearney shied away from the match-up as both future Spartans took turns guarding each other in front of their future coach, who seemed visibly content with both performances. Maybe even more importantly was Izzo was there to evaluate Southeastern's 6-8 big man Percy Gibson.
Gibson, who is still far from 100% due to an ankle injury, finished with nine rebounds and 11 points, on only 6 shots.
Kearney showed off his versatility by tallying nine points, eight assists, and six rebounds. He played a key role in handling the ball while breaking Pershing's half court trap. Kearney did struggle to get shot the fall in the first half but he showed how he can affect a game in other ways. His 6-6 length also gave Pershing problems on defense as Kearney headed Southeastern's 1-3-1 zone.
Appling finished with 26 points while making big plays on both ends of the floor as he forced six steals.
The two teams will face again on January 26th and could possible meet two more times in the city playoffs and state playoffs.