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Swainsboro escapes Southeast Bulloch

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Swainsboro escapes Southeast Bulloch

Southeast Bulloch's Tony Raymond (30) looks to score through four Swainsboro defenders Tuesday night at SEB. The Yellow Jackets traield by as many as 20 in the second half, only to make a furious rally and miss a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have tied the game.

    BROOKLET — The Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets crawled out of a 20-point hole with a 31-point fourth quarter and closed the gap to one in the final minute of the period, but they could not cap off the comeback as the Swainsboro Tigers (10-3, Region 3-AA) snuck out of Brooklet with a 69-66 win Tuesday.
    A pair of James Scott free throws brought the score within two with 36.1 seconds to go, and a technical foul was called in between the shots when Tiger post-man Cecil Bert ran onto the hardwood, but it was waved off by another official.    
    “They called the technical foul,” said SEB coach John Page, “but they said that because the ball was not officially in play they called it back.”
    A Scott rebound put the ball into the hands of Jacket guard Tharon Davis, who — with SEB trailing 67-65 — was sent to the line for a pair of foul shots.
    Davis missed the first, but the second had Southeast Bulloch within one with 21.3 seconds to go.
    The Jackets sent Swainsboro to the line twice in the final 20 seconds. Tony Mitchell (20 points) sank a pair, then went to the line again. He missed the first, and — although the second was good — lost the chance to put his Tigers up by four due to a lane violation.
    The Jackets got the ball back with 2.9 seconds on the clock, but Tony Raymond’s desperation 3-pointer from behind the timeline fell short.
    Southeast Bulloch got into two major holes in the game. The first came when they trailed by 12 heading into halftime.
    They started the third on a 10-2 run, including a pair of Raymond 3s, and closed the gap to 32-28, but the Swainsboro finished out the quarter on a 21-7 run, leaving SEB down by 20 heading into the fourth.
    Another big run started the fourth, as the Jackets went on an 11-3 run, and the Tigers watched as Raymond, Scott, Chris Rogers and Anthony Cope put points on the board every trip down the court.
    “(Those four) stepped up big for us tonight,” said Page, as he pointed out the importance of having leaders emerge as the region tournament approaches. “They lead by example,” he said.
    Rogers and Scott joined Raymond in double-digits, scoring 12 and 10 respectively. Raymond was 5-for-5 from the charity stripe and hit three 3-pointers in the comeback effort.
    Mitchell’s 20 led the Tigers, and Bert and Malcolm Eady each had 12. Byron Fouts led the SHS defense with nine rebounds. He added seven points and five assists to his tally.
    The Yellow Jackets close out region play on Friday as they host the Screven County Gamecocks on senior night. The girls tip off at 6 p.m. and the boys game will immediately follow.

Lady Tigers 29, Lady Yellow Jackets 23
    Points were hard to come by for both teams Tuesday night as the Swainsboro Lady Tigers (9-11, 7-6) picked up the intensity in the second half to knock off the Southeast Bulloch Lady yellow Jackets 29-23 for a region win that put SHS over .500 in Region 3-AA.
    “It’s important to be over .500 right now,” said Andrews. “We took some losses last week. We were hoping to finish third in the region (behind Laney and Screven County). Now we are hoping to finish third or fourth heading into the region tournament.
    The squads were a combined 3-for-17 from the floor in the first quarter, and the struggling offenses saw the Yellow Jackets lead just 4-3 heading into the second.
    The Tigers outscored the Jackets 11-4 in the second to take a 14-8 halftime lead.
    Southeast Bulloch trailed 19-14 heading into the final period, when Swainsboro’s offense was able to put together a series of scoring runs.
    “We had to make some adjustments with our offense,” said Swainsboro coach Bobby Andrews. “Jayde Nail had a good second half. We put her out on the wing. When we did, she knocked them down for us tonight. Our scoring picked up a little bit (in the second half), only because our shooting got a little bit better.”
    Jasmine Lloyd stepped up as well, netting eight of her 13 points to close out the win.
    Olivia Melvin led the SEB offense with nine points. Nail added eight for the Tigers.

Moment of silence at SEB
    Before the opening tip when the Southeast Bulloch Lady Yellow Jackets took on the Swainsboro Lady Tigers in SEB’s new facility Tuesday, a moment of silence was observed in memory of legendary Yellow Jacket and Bulloch County coach George Roebuck, who passed away Sunday morning.
    Already having his name frozen in time when the Brooklet Recreation Department named its athletic facility the “George A. Roebuck Complex,” he has also been inducted into the Hall of Fames at SEB, Statesboro and Brewton Parker College.
    The coach is survived by Dot, his wife of 59 years.
    Roebuck was 83.

    Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9404.
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