BRADENTON -- The Southeast girls basketball team was looking for some competition to keep sharp as it advances in postseason play.
Tampa Middleton couldn't provide what they wanted, and the host Seminoles had to be content with a 48-19 victory in opening-round play of the Class 5A-Region 3 tournament Thursday night.
Southeast (27-1) led 34-6 at halftime and forced a running clock with 1 minute, 25 seconds left in the third period when it took a 46-11 lead. Middleton ended its season at 9-12.
Head coach John Harder was philosophical about what his team got out of the game.
"We got exercise, conditioning and teamwork from the standpoint that 15 kids played," Harder said. "I never thought in a regional after thirty years that I could play three shifts of five players each. I never had a running clock in a regional game. We didn't have our first turnover until the middle of the third quarter, and that was with our subs."
Middleton turned the ball over on its first six possessions of the game. Southeast missed quite a few layups at first, but scored all of its baskets off putbacks or layups in the first period to take a 15-2 lead.
Keshawna Robinson scored seven of her game-high 19 points in the first period to spark the Noles. DeAngela Mathis finished with 12 points and led Southeast with seven rebounds.
Middleton converted only 3 of 18 shots in the first half.
After nine inside baskets, Southeast scored its first bucket from outside the paint on a midrange jumper from Daisha Kelly, who was the Seminoles' other double-figure scorer with 11 points.
"We didn't get out of his game what we expected, but we prepared for the best. You can't do anything about the scoreboard," Mathis said. "We played like we do in practice. I am very glad no one got hurt. You look at this as another scrimmage that will help you get to states and go on to the next game."
Southeast will be a home Tuesday for its region semifinal game against district rival St. Petersburg Gibbs, which it defeated three times this season by 19, 26 and 22 points.
Southeast has won 23 straight games since losing to Sarasota 62-50 in the fifth game of the season.
"We got out of this game what we could and it is comforting to know that we are going into the semifinal healthy," Harder said. "It's hard to wholesale sub. In a game like thi,s you usually leave one or two starters out there and those are the girls that usually get hurt."
Janelle Gould played a good floor game for the Seminoles, leading them with seven steals and four assists. Mathis had four rebounds.
Robinson shot 8-for-11 from the field, and Mathis knocked down 5 of 13 shots. Southeast struggled at the free0throw line converting only 8 of 19.