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Claxton teams claim two wins at SEB’s expense

BROOKLET — The Claxton Tigers used a 23-12 second quarter, had three players score in double figures and shot 21-32 from the free throw line to blow out Southeast Bulloch 68-47 Friday night. "We just had a great shooting night and I think that was the difference," said CHS head coach Eric Bluestein. "(Free throw shooting) was the biggest difference in the game, I think. They put us on the line a lot. If we would have shot like we did the other night (against Metter) I don't think we would have won." The Tigers (1-1) held a 14-7 advantage at the start of the second quarter, but quickly went on an 11-3 run to push the lead to 15. Tristian McCoy drained two 3s and scored eight during the period while Mario Jones and Cory Greene added five apiece. Claxton's 2-2-1 press began to create turnovers and easy buckets for CHS while SEB (0-4) was content to throw up ugly shots from beyond the arc. The Yellow Jackets were out of it long before halftime. "We took a step back tonight," said SEB head coach John Page. "I think some of that has to do with Claxton, the way they pressed us. It was decided in the first half and they set the tempo." Greene finished with 14 points and was 4-for-7 from the line, Jones finished with eight and was 6-for-7 from the charity stripe and McCoy led the Tigers with 16. Damian Brewton was just shy of a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds. Keith Ross was the lone bright spot for the Yellow Jackets through three quarters. Ross finished with 12 points and six boards before fouling out. Tony Raymond took over in the fourth quarter, hitting all four of SEB 3-pointers on the way to a game-high 20 points. "(SEB) really has great shooters and they started knocking some of them down late," said Bluestein. "It scared me." Claxton led 50-25 after the third due largely to the ability to run its motion offense and create easy inside looks. When those looks didn't fall, the Tigers earned their points at the line. Southeast committed 22 fouls and turned the ball over 17 times. Lady Tigers 36, Lady Yellow Jackets 27 The Claxton Lady Tigers survived a furious Southeast Bulloch fourth-quarter rally, hanging on for a 36-27 win Friday night. With 4:28 left to go in the game, SEB guard Brittany Carter converted a four-point play to tie the score at 24. But the Lady Jackets couldn't get over the hump, and Claxton pulled away over the final four minutes to seal the win. "We’ve got four seniors," said CHS head coach Laura Aziz, "and tonight I thought they did a better job of taking the shot when it was open and running some time off. But we knew coming out of halftime that if we didn't build that lead up, Southeast Bulloch would come back with their style of play." Southeast's Carter and sophomore Lacreasha Brewton went back-and-forth from 3-point land all night. Brewton finished with 18 and five 3s while Carter finished with 20 points, nine in the fourth quarter. "(Brittany) was looking to score and she knew she had to be the one to force the issue," said SEB head coach Milton Said Williams: "That four-point play was big, basically playing the entire game, she was exhausted... and she made her free throws." But Carter's heroics weren't enough to stop SEB (2-2) from turning the ball over 23 times. Every time the Lady Yellow Jackets seemed to catch a break or make a defensive stop, the ball would find its way back into the hands of CHS (2-0). Claxton used two 5-0 runs in the first quarter to take a 10-5 lead, a quarter which included Brewton hitting a 3 at the buzzer. Carter would cut the lead to four at 11-7 in the second quarter, but that's where it stayed and Claxton led 15-11 going into the locker room. Brewton hit her fourth 3 with 1:30 left in the third quarter to give the Tigers their biggest lead, at eight, before SEB made its final run. Ashley Kennedy finished with 12 points and nine rebounds for CHS and the Lady Tigers were 7 of 13 from the charity stripe. "I still think we're playing too spurt-y," said Aziz. "But I like the will to win and the desire that I see." Southeast Bulloch opens region play today at Westside-Augusta with a 5 p.m. girls tip and the boys immediately to follow. Claxton travels to Toombs County. Chad Bishop can be reached at (912)-489-9404.

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