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Thriller at SEB

Overtime win helps SEB to sweep over New Hampstead

Thriller at SEB

Thriller at SEB

Southeast Bulloch's Kaelin Jones, lef...

    BROOKLET — With just over a minute to play, things weren’t looking too good for Southeast Bulloch.
    The Yellow Jackets trailed New Hampstead by a count of 50-43, but clawed back and scored seven unanswered points to force overtime, then outlasted the Phoenix for a 56-52 win on Friday night.
    “We were in a tough spot,” said SEB coach John Page. “But our guys just kept fighting. We just found a way. It was never-say-die tonight.”
    Despite the game’s seven lead changes, New Hampstead (2-8, 0-5 Region 1-AAA) held the advantage for most of the night.
    With the score tied midway through the fourth quarter, the Jackets (4-6, 3-2) hit a dry spell at the worst possible time.
    But SEB kept fighting and Devante Tremble (15 points) nailed a 3 to draw within 50-46 with 1:01 to play. Tremble came up with a steal and converted a layup immediately following his 3-pointer to make it a 50-48 game.
    The Jackets were in trouble again as Kaelin Jones (8 points, 7 rebounds) missed a pair of free throws with 32.4 seconds to play, but SEB got a defensive stop and Tremble connected on a floater with 10 seconds left to send the game into overtime.
    “We got that big 3 from Devante when we really needed it,” said Page. “From there, we just played some great defense. We got a few steals and were able to just get the game to overtime.”
    With the pressure running high, both offenses struggled in the extra period.
    The teams came up empty on each of their first three possessions, but Jones finally pushed the Jackets out in front with a layup at the 2:18 mark. The Phoenix continued to wilt as SEB contested every shot and Tremble made it a two possession game with a spinning layup with 48 seconds to go.
    New Hampstead missed three more shots during its next possession before Jones pulled down a big rebound. The Phoenix attempted to press, but the Jackets broke through and Matthew McBride delivered an exclamation point, connecting on a layup with just 10 seconds to go.
    D’Juan Gaston (12 points) scored the Phoenix’s only overtime points with a layup just before the buzzer, but the celebration was already underway.
    “There were a lot of guys with their hands on their hips at the end,” said Page. “I know that we were tired, but we just kept digging down and finding big plays, especially in overtime.”
    With the Phoenix shutting down the Jackets’ half-court game early on, SEB was able to claw its way into contention with a relentless press.
    Three consecutive forced turnovers allowed the Jackets to take their first lead of the night in the third quarter and a similar string of turnovers and points in transition kept SEB in contention until the final minutes.
    In all, the Jackets recorded 17 steals — eight of which resulted in uncontested layups.
    Along with Gaston, Jaleel Daniels and Russell Clanton — who scored 11 points each — were on fire early on, but eventually gave way to the relentless SEB pressure.

Lady Jackets cruise to win
    The Southeast Bulloch girls got things off to a good start with a 53-33 win over New Hampstead.
    The Lady Jackets (5-4, 3-2 Region 1-AAA) played a solid game, but Jasmine Roberts was just about able to deal with the Lady Phoenix all by herself.
    The junior guard turned in her best performance of the season so far in scoring 29 points. Through three quarters of play, Roberts and New Hampstead were even at 23 points each and they were locked at 29-29 when SEB — comfortably ahead — emptied its bench with 2:40 to play.
    “I didn’t realize that when we took everyone out,” said SEB coach Jonny Miller. “But I know that she played a great game. I don’t know if (Roberts) realizes her potential all of the time, but we saw how good she can be tonight.’
    Both teams struggled offensively in the first quarter, but the Jackets rode a 16-10 second quarter to a 26-18 halftime advantage. By then, Roberts had already started on her monster night with 13 points in the book.
    The Jackets left no doubt in the second half.
    After a few slow minutes, Philicia Batton (6 points) connected on a layup for the first points of the third quarter. Roberts added a short jumper and two free throws before New Hampstead found the scoreboard and added another layup and a deep 3 to make it 37-19 as the Jackets began to pull away.
    Along with Roberts’ hot shooting, the Yellow Jacket defense locked down on any Phoenix players that tried to drive the lane.
    “We want to play tough defense,” said Miller. “That’s what we preach every day. When we buy into that type of play, I think we can be a pretty good team.”
    The SEB boys and girls jump right back into region action tonight as they hit the road to take on Brantley County. The girls tip off at 6 p.m. with the boys scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

JV Jackets roll
    The Southeast Bulloch junior-varsity Yellow Jackets improved to 5-1 on the season with a 50-35 win Friday afternoon against New Hampstead.
    Nigel Smith had 12 points to lead SEB. Sheldon Hendrix added 11 and Jordan Tremble finished with 10.   

    Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.

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