With non-region games and holiday tournaments growing more distant in the rearview mirror, area basketball teams are ready to make a run down the stretch and hopefully continue into the postseason.
Bulloch County turned into a basketball hotbed last season as three varsity squads made runs to the Final Four of their respective state tournaments.
SAVANNAH - With a little more than four minutes left to play it was now or never time for the Portal Panthers, who trailed Calvary Day by eight at the Calvary gym.
BELLVILLE - Pinewood Christian's Jessie Knaus intentionally missed a free throw with 1.3 seconds remaining to give PCA a chance at the game-tying shot, but Bulloch Academy held on for a 49-47 win on Tuesday on the road.
After a crucial Region 3-AAAA sweep over Wayne County Friday night, Statesboro's boys and girls picked up another pair of wins Saturday against Windsor Forest at the Devil's Den.
Bulloch County is no stranger to great teams and amazing athletes, but few individuals can claim to have been as singularly dominant as Bulloch Academy's Mitchell Ball has been on the wrestling mat.
When the basketball season tipped off in November, Southeast Bulloch wasn't exactly sure where its scoring would come from. The Yellow Jackets had been an improved team in 2012-13, but leading scorer Devontae Tremble had graduated.
PORTAL - In a showdown between a pair of region rivals who both made the Class A Final Four last season, it was clear which school had peaked and which is looking for even more this time around.
Smith Reeves hit both ends of a one-and-one opportunity with 16.2 seconds left to help lift Bulloch Academy to a 51-48 victory over Frederica Academy Tuesday.
BROOKLET - The Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets continued their winning ways on Tuesday with a 50-38 region win over Savannah High at home.
BROOKLET - The year may be new, but Southeast Bulloch's region schedule is already nearing the halfway mark.
Bulloch Academy blew a 13-point, fourth-quarter lead to lose to Dominion Christian 60-53 in overtime Saturday.
ALAMO - The Portal Panthers went scoreless in the last minute and a half, but did enough to holf off Wheeler County for a 59-58 win on Saturday.
The new year got off to a rocky start for the Statesboro boys basketball team as they dropped a 61-53 decision to Liberty County Friday night at the Devil's Den.
Last Friday night, Mount de Sales drubbed the Bulloch Academy boys by 32 points in the Tattnall Square Academy Christmas tournament in Macon.
SAVANNAH - The Southeast Bulloch Lady Yellow Jackets had no problems in region action on the road, blanking New Hampstead 5-0 on Friday.
The Statesboro Blue Devils won a boys golf tournament at Forest Heights Country Club with a team score of 171 on Thursday.
Two unearned runs off a dropped fly ball in deep left center were the difference in the game as the No. 17 Clemson Tigers escaped J.I. Clements Stadium with a 5-4 win over the Georgia Southern Eagles on Wednesday in the finale of a two-game series.
The Statesboro Blue Devils dominated a four-team track meet on Wednesday against Metter, Montgomery County, Jenkins and Long County, with the boys and girls each well surpassing the next-best score.
Now in his final season on the diamond with the Yellow Jackets of Southeast Bulloch, Drew Rushing knows when to put his team on his shoulders.
Bulloch Academy senior Bill Sheppard (pictured, right) was named one of the 12 best senior basketball players in the Georgia Independent School Association this season by his selection to the GISA All-Star Team last week. Sheppard and his Class AAA teammates from around the state lost to the SCISA (South Carolina Independent School Association) All-Stars 100-92 at Tattnall Square Academy in Macon this past Saturday. The BA senior scored four points.