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FMB AOTW: Jackson steps up for Statesboro
Lanier has big week for Lanier
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Mario Jackson is junior guard at Statesboro. He averaged 16.3 points in Statesboro’s last three games. - photo by Staff
    Mario Jackson isn’t a superstar quite yet. Frankly, that’s the way he likes it.
    With teammate Eric Ferguson garnering all the attention, Jackson is almost a secret weapon when opponents take the court against Statesboro.
    “They see Eric coming in the scouting report and they really don’t know nothing about me,” said Jackson.
    Jackson averaged 16.3 points per contest this past week, scoring 14 against Portal, 18 against Richmond Academy and 17 against Lakeside.
    A scrappy junior guard, Jackson rebounds, deals assists and wreaks havoc on defense.
    “I’ll tell you what — he really has stepped up,’ said Statesboro coach Lee Hill. “Mario, at the beginning of the season was going through a lot of pressure with being the point guard. But in the last couple of weeks he’s really come on. He’s playing good defense, he’s handled the ball, he’s making plays, he’s rebounded well for us and he’s been getting steals. We talk about Eric, but you got to also mention Mario. He’s really stepped up, and because of that he’s one of the reasons we’re in the position that we’re in now.”
    Statesboro we’ll attempt to go to 4-0 in Region 3-AAAA Friday night at Evans.
    “We just got to stay focused and keep playing hard,” Jackson added.

Lanier has big week for BA
    When Bulloch Academy’s Kaylee Lanier was warming up Tuesday night prior to the Lady Gators’ game against Edmund Burke Academy, she missed all of her shots.
    “I thought I was going to have an awful night,” said the 5-6 junior forward. “But after I made my first shot, I felt really comfortable. I usually play low post. We started moving around and that’s when I started hitting my shots from the high-post position. That’s where I stayed.”
    Lanier netted a career-high 24 points, most on a soft eight-foot shot, as she helped Bulloch to a 50-44 GISA Region 2-AA win. She hit 10-of-16 shots from the field and four-of-seven from the free-throw line. Lanier also had 10 rebounds, eight steals and four assists with just one turnover.
    “All the way across the board, it doesn’t get much better than that,” said BA head coach Paul Webb. “She had a complete game both offensively and defensively. With the 1-2-2 defense that EBA was running, the weakness was right in that spot. I thought our wings did a great job of getting the ball to her.”
    From Jan. 15-22, Lanier netted 53 points in four games including 14 in a dramatic 32-30 win over Frederica Academy last Friday night on St. Simons Island.
    Lanier leads the Lady Gators in several categories such as points scored (156), rebounds (124) and steals (51). But the sandy-haired 16-year old doesn’t care who gets the glory.
    “Every game we get better and better as a team and closer and closer as teammates,” she said.