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Area teams enjoy weekend full of big wins
Prep Basketball
Portal's Amir Jackson, top, gets a basket and a foul as he is undercut by Wilkinson County's Jordan Jackson late in the fourth quarter to help the Panthers hold on for a close win on Saturday, Jan 14.

Area High school basketball teams had plenty of success over the weekend as the Portal Panthers, Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets and Statesboro Blue Devils all swept their games Saturday night at home.   

The Portal boys host Wilkinson County in a matchup of two Top-10 ranked teams as Portal came in ranked No. 3 in the state and Wilkinson Co. is currently ranked No. 8. and Portal won 67-59. The Panthers had already beaten the Warriors 65-62 last month in Irwinton and Wilkinson knocked Portal out of the state playoffs last year. 

The boy’s game was back-and-forth throughout. The Warriors led at the end of the first and third quarters, while Portal led at the half and then pulled away going on an 7-0 run to end the game.  

Portal led 60-59 with just over a minute to play when the Warriors Justin Stanley missed a layup. Elijah Coleman came up with the rebound and threw a pass the length of the court to Amir Jackson who scored and was fouled to put Portal up 64-59. 

“I felt like we made a few defensive plays down the stretch and then made a couple plays on offense,” said coach Jeff Brannen. “Joseph Thomas has really been shooting the ball well and he did again tonight. I felt like Amir played great in the fourth when we really needed him, and Elijah Colman did his job playing steady throughout the game.” 

Thomas led the Panthers with 19 points, while Jackson added 17 points and Coleman had 14. Portal improves to 14-1 overall and 3-0 in region play. 

The Portal girls have had their struggles lately, but looked sharp Saturday as they knocked off Wilkinson County for the second time this season with a 48-16 victory. 

“We really needed this tonight,” said Portal coach Huey Williams. “We are really starting to play better as a team. I think it starts on the defensive end and we looked good tonight. I also feel like Glen Lowe and Tameeyah Kingsberry are starting to figure things out in the back court and both had big games tonight. 

Kingsberry had 15 points while Lowe had 13 points and Jozie Motes added 10 points. Portal imporves to 3-11 overall and will next travel to McIntosh County Academy Tuesday for a 6:00 start. 

The Statesboro Blue Devils sept a pair of region games Saturday at home against Jenkins with the girls winning 63-19 and the boys won 72-47. 

The Statesboro boys came in having lost their last two region games but took it out on the Warriors scoring their most points of the season. Statesboro was led by Leslie Black with 24 points while James Flagg added 19 points. Statesboro is now 10-5 overall and 2-2 in region play. 

The Lady Blue Devils were led by Alyssa Staten who had 16 points and 17 rebounds. Ashari Washington added 16 points as well while Reya Johnson had 12 points and five assists. Statesboro improves to 15-3 overall and 4-0 in region play. Up next the Bleu Devils host Bradwell Tuesday at 6:00. 

The Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets took a pair of non-region games against Swainsboro Saturday as the girls won 50-48 and boys took a 57-42 decision. 

The Yellow Jacket boys were paced by Collin Smith with 15 points and Zach Wells and Kyon Taylor with 11 points each. SEB is now 5-10 overall and 1-2 in region play. 

The Lady Jackets were led by Alex Odom with 18 points while Korine Talkington added 10 points. SEB improves to 6-6 overall and 1-1 in region play. Up next Southeast Bulloch travels to Burke County Tuesday for a 6:00 start for the girls game.