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Scott’s late putback lifts Southeast Bulloch

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    BROOKLET — The way things were going Friday night, it was only fitting Southeast Bulloch and Jefferson County went right down to the wire.
    With time running out, SEB’s Tony Raymond drove down the right side of the lane and put the potential game-winning shot off the glass right down into the hands of a waiting James Scott. Scott went straight back up and converted the putback, sending the crowd into a frenzy and sending SEB to a 46-45 win over Jefferson County.
    “I’m just like, ‘Wow, the ball fell right there in my hands’. I knew once I got the ball it was going in,” said Scott.
    Scott’s score left 2.8 seconds on the clock, but Mike Johnson’s desperation heave from well beyond half court was nowhere close. The win for Southeast (10-12, 4-8) moved the Yellow Jackets into a three-way tie for fifth place in Region 3-AA with JCHS and Westside.
    “It gives us a big boost,” added the junior, who led all scorers with 19. “It gives us great confidence. We should probably be able to get the fourth or fifth seed (in region) with this big win right here.”
    The win, however, wasn’t easy.
    Southeast led 41-39 with three minutes left, but quickly fell behind 43-41 on two Barry Bostic steals and layups. The Jackets then had a chance to tie but missed two easy layups with less than 1:20 to go.
    Jefferson (6-16) was unable to stretch the lead, and Scott converted 1 of 2 free throws to cut the lead to one. Marcus Smith put SEB in front at 44-43, but JCHS countered with Chris Crenshaw rebounding a miss on the front end of a one-and-one to make it 45-44 with 23 seconds to go.
    “I didn’t see any panic on anybody’s face,” said SEB coach John Page. “I knew we were going to find a way to get it done.”    
    Arriving at such a fantastic finish was likely painful for both coaches to watch as the teams combined to shoot a combined 30 percent over the course of the game. At the end of the first quarter the sides had shot a combined 6-for-31 and the score was tied at nine.
    Southeast trailed by as many as seven in the second quarter. Johnson came in off the bench for JCHS and scored seven of his team high 14 points. The Jackets were down 19-12 before sinking a few free throws and picking up the defensive effort.
    Still, SEB went 7:30 without making a field goal and 1 of 9 from the floor. They only trailed 20-17 going into the half.
    “The way (Jefferson) plays — just straight up on you, it gives us room to get to the basket,” said Page. “That’s what we tried to do all night and should have done it a little bit more in the first half. “
    Jefferson and SEB traded baskets for the duration of the third. SEB took the lead at 21-20 on a John Jones putback. Mike Tennyson then hit a 3 from the top of the circle to make it 23-21, and Raymond answered that with a 3 of his own from the corner to give Southeast a 24-23 lead.
    The game ended up tied at 29 going into period number four.
    Raymond had 13 points, six rebounds and was 8-for-9 from the charity stripe. Southeast went 23 of 35 from the line while Jefferson shot just seven free throws.
    Bostic added 10 points for the Warriors.
    The Jackets have tonight off then welcome Swainsboro Tuesday and Screven County next Friday for Senior Night.
Lady Warriors 47, Lady Yellow Jackets 29
    After a quarter of play, Southeast Bulloch held a 9-8 lead over the visitors from Louisville. Eight minutes later the game was out of hand and Jefferson County was in cruise control.
    Laheede Jackson scored 22 points and the Lady Warriors (11-11, 6-6 Region 3-AA) ran away with a 47-29 win over SEB Friday.
    Jefferson outscored the Jackets (4-18, 1-11) 24-6 in the second period. When SEB came back for the third quarter, coach Mark Smith’s starters remained on the bench.
    “I wasn’t happy with the body language when we came out to warm up,” Smith said. “A lot of them just decided to go sit on the bench and that told me right there that they weren’t really ready to play.”
    Smith then let some of his younger players play, and the baby Jackets held their own, actually winning the quarter 5-3. By then, however, it was too late.
    Olivia Melvin tied the game at 12 with a 3 early in the second, but instead of waking SEB up it seemed to set Jefferson’s alarm off.
    Jackson scored 11 of her 22 in the second as JCHS began to feed the post with regularity. Machia Heggs and Labresha Leverett came off the bench to pose more size problems for SEB and the Lady Warriors ended the half on a 20-3 run.
    “That’s the trouble we’ve been having all year,” said Smith. “We go through phases in the ball game — and it’s happened all year — where we go 4-6 minutes where we totally get away from what’s working.”
    Crystall Mikell led SEB with 10 while Melvin added eight.
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