PALMETTO -- Southeast leading scorer Ronald Taylor grew tired of waiting for the whistle Friday afternoon at the Palmetto Turkey Classic.
The sophomore, who scored 30 points in Seminoles' season opener, was stuck on 14 points and made no effort to hide his frustration after crashing to the floor several times in the second half with no foul called.
Meanwhile, Southeast watched as its 22-point lead was shaved to four with less than two minutes to play.
Taylor decided to get tough.
He stormed the rim -- scoring seven points in a 50-second span, five of them resulting from offensive rebounds -- to lift the Seminoles to a 72-61 victory over Booker.
"It comes to a point," Taylor said, "where you have to stop worrying about what the officials are calling and just play. At the end of the game, I just said I wanted the ball. It didn't matter what happened in the paint."
Taylor finished with 21 points and a team-high seven assists, and big man Cecil Richardson added 18 points and eight rebounds for Southeast (2-0).
The Tornadoes (1-2) trailed 63-59 with 1:45 to play before Taylor caught fire. He had putbacks on consecutive possessions, the second one resulting in a traditional three-point play, and drove to the bucket and hit two free throws to give the Seminoles a 68-61 lead with 1:07 left.
"He thought he was getting a little extra contact," first-year Southeast coach Floyd Watkins said of Taylor. "It might have been a brief distraction, but he's the type of kid that's always going to bounce back. He always finds a way to right the ship and ends up doing what he usually does."
Palmetto routed Manatee for the second time in 10 days, this time 82-37, in the second game of the Turkey Classic. Southeast and Palmetto will play what amounts to a championship game -- they were scheduled to play each other regardless of Friday's outcomes -- at 8 p.m. Saturday. Booker and Manatee will meet at 6 p.m.
After a tight first quarter, Southeast took control of its game against Booker with an 18-0 run in the second quarter. Taylor and Isaac Toye each scored six points during the streak, and Richardson had consecutive offensive rebound buckets.
Richardson had two straight offensive rebound baskets
midway through the fourth quarter to quell a Booker rally.
"We just want him to be active on the offensive glass," Watkins said of Richardson, "and use his physical abilities to get those putbacks and rebounds. Sometimes with our shooting, I joke with our players, the offensive rebound is a big part of our offense."
Booker got 19 points from Andre Johnson and 11 from Bryan Hudson. The Tornadoes trailed 53-31 midway through the third quarter before going on a 13-0 run and slowly inching their way back into the game.
PALMETTO 82, MANATEE 37 -- The Tigers defeated the Hurricanes 58-14 in the season opener for both teams Nov. 19, so Palmetto was expected to cruise again.
But Manatee came to play. When Jordan Pompey nailed two free throws with 2:40 to play in the first quarter, the Hurricanes trailed 16-14 and matched their scoring output from the opener.
The Tigers responded by outscoring Manatee 30-5 in the second quarter, and the rout was on.
"I put that on the turkey," Palmetto head coach Reggie Bellamy said of his team's first quarter. "We got a little sluggish. We changed our defense and forced them to anticipate and be a little more aggressive to the passing lanes. We got some deflections and some easy baskets. ... That's what want to do, conceptually, on defense."
Jordan Young led Palmetto (4-0) with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Brandon Drake added 14 points, Jarrid Rhodes had 13, and Kyle Edwards and Tre Clark added 10 apiece.
Manatee (0-3), which added several football players to the roster since the first game, got seven points from Greg Reeves and six from Jamarion McDonald.
"I'm a lot happier," Manatee head coach Troy Bellamy said. "Obviously, we scored a lot more points. These (football) guys have to get in shape. We've got a lot of basketball to learn."