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Yellow Jackets sweep Bryan County

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Yellow Jackets sweep Bryan County

    BROOKLET — The Southeast Bulloch boys began the 2012-13 campaign with a win over Bryan County in November and completed the season sweep of the Redskins with a 65-54 victory Saturday night.
    After a tight first half, the Yellow Jackets (7-12, 5-7 Region 1-AAA) opened up a double-digit lead for much of the second half, but still had to hold off a late rally by Bryan County (1-19, 0-6 Region 2-AA).
    “It’s tough getting a team both times you play them,” said SEB coach Jeff Page. “We snuck out of (Bryan County’s) place with a two-point win the first time. It took another solid effort to win again tonight.”
    Kaelin Jones topped the Jackets with 23 points while Preston Smith added 17. Jones also pulled down 14 rebounds in teaming up with Cole Carter to patrol the glass on both ends of the floor.
    SEB managed a slim 12-9 after the first quarter with Jones and Devante Tremble (8 points) keying an 8-0 run in the second quarter to extend the advantage.
    Sherron Bacon (17 points) connected with jumpers on consecutive possessions to get the Redskins back in contention while Kajana Dixon (21 points) drained a 3 to cut further into the deficit.
    The Jackets maintained a 29-24 lead at halftime when Matthew McBride beat the second quarter buzzer with a layup and an 8-2 SEB run to begin the third quarter got the Jackets out in front comfortably once again.
    “It was big for us to get the edge in the second half,” said Page. “We knew that Bryan County wasn’t going anywhere, so we were going to need to get a lead and hang on.”
    Bacon scored nine points in the third quarter, but the rest of the Redskins weren’t able to match his pace, falling behind 47-37 after the third quarter.
    The Jackets extended their lead to as much as 57-41 on a put-back bucket by Jones at the 3:53 mark, but Dixon caught fire and the Redskins clawed their way back into the game.
    Bryan County pulled to within 57-49 with two minutes to go before Smith broke through the press for a pair of easy layups. Smith got the lead back to 10 points on a free throw with 39.3 seconds to play.
    “Preston got some huge baskets for us,” said Page. “When we slowed the offense down to run the clock, we kind of got out of our rhythm. Bryan County was able to pull a little closer, but Preston got those two big layups.”
    McBride put the finishing touches on the win, draining a pair of free throws with just over 30 seconds to play to put the game out of reach.

Lady Jackets crush Bryan County
    The Southeast Bulloch girls played a nearly perfect ballgame in routing Bryan County by a score of 49-19.
    The game was never in doubt as the Lady Yellow Jackets (9-9, 4-5 Region 1-AAA) launched a 27-0 run that stretched from midway through the first quarter to the opening minutes of the second half.
    “We really came out firing on all cylinders,” said SEB coach Johnnie Miller. “I fell like we gave (Friday night’s game) against Pierce County away. We didn’t want to have two games in a row like that.”
    The Jackets’ defense ensured that the Redskins (2-15, 1-5 Region 2-AA) never got into contention, limiting them to just three points in the first half.
    Kolbie Groves (7 points) finally snapped the long Bryan County drought with 5:45 to play in the third quarter, but by that time Miller was already beginning to empty his bench as the game was well in hand.
    Gloria Lingle matched Bryan County with 19 points by herself and Jasmine Roberts also helped to pace the Jackets, contributing 12 points — all scored in the first half.
    Nine different Jackets recorded points in the game — their highest number of scorers so far this season.
    The win came easy, but was also bittersweet for Miller, who chalked up most of his 600-plus wins while coaching the Redskins.
    “It’s a little tough to go up against an old team,” said Miller. “But you try not to think about it too much. Getting a win definitely makes it a little easier.”
    Southeast Bulloch returns to region action Tuesday as the boys and girls both travel to Tattnall County.

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

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