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Jackets get much needed region win
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    METTER — The Metter Tigers (4-13) fell behind early when the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets (7-10, 3-6 Region 3-AA) jumped out to a 10-0 lead to start the game, and that proved to be the difference in Saturday’s 57-48 SEB region-road win.
    “We wanted to come out and try to have some kind of energy — get them started,” said Southeast Bulloch coach John Page. “We know we always play methodical against Metter. They do a great job defensively and they make you make shots. We knew it was going to be a close one all the way throughout. We lost a heart-breaker (in Friday’s one-point loss against Laney) and I felt like we would be a little bit down, but we came out with some intensity and got the lead and I think that was the difference.”
    The Tigers closed the gap to as few as four in the fourth quarter on a Geoffrey Thurman jumper, but clutch shooting from the foul line by Marcus Smith and Tony Raymond allowed the Jackets to escape with the win.
    “We could have still folded here close,” said Page, “but we found people to make shots.”
    Southeast Bulloch got up early, scoring underneath with lay-ins by Raymond, James Scott and Chris Rogers. They took a 12-4 lead into the second, and held a 29-21 advantage at the half.
    Despite strong efforts from Thurman (20 points) and Devin Byrd (14 points), the Tigers could not find an answer.
    Raymond and Scott each reached double-digits for the Jackets. Raymond finished with 17 points and six rebounds, and Scott added 15 points and seven rebounds.
    The Jackets out-rebounded MHS 24-14 in the contest. Dillian Lawrence had two 3-pointers in the contest, including a third-quarter shot from way beyond the arc that brought the Tigers within five, but Southeast’s play in the offensive paint would not allow the Tigers back into the game.
    Southeast Bulloch returns to action when they host Jenkins County Tuesday at 6 p.m. Metter travels to Swainsboro the same day.

Lady Tigers 38, Lady Yellow Jackets 32
    The Southeast Bulloch Lady Yellow Jackets (4-13, 1-8 Region 3-AA) got within one in the fourth quarter, but the Metter Lady Tigers (7-10, 3-5) pulled away for a 38-32 win Saturday night.
    Trailing by eight heading into the fourth, the Jackets started off on a 9-2 run, and cut the score to 33-32 when DeAnn Lewis drove the lane and layed it in for her only field goal on the night. Southeast Bulloch out-rebounded the Tigers 6-4 in the span, and MHS went 1-for-5 from the field.
    “Not counting tonight’s game, we’ve only won one game since Christmas break,” said Tiger coach Dwayne Davis. “We’ve gone through about five or six games where we haven’t been playing very well. In the course of those games, we go through a two or three minute period where girls just can’t keep focused.”
    Davis called a timeout clinging to a one-point lead with 3:20 to go to send a message to his Tigers.
    “Tonight I told them before the basketball game that I was going to coach hard and I was going to get personal with them,” said Davis. “I tried to stay with them all night long.”
    Metter scored five unanswered points in the final 3:00, including going 3-for-6 from the foul line, to close out the victory.
    “That lull period was short (against the Jackets),” Davis added. “I kind of got on them a little bit and they got refocused and went back out there. We’re still not hitting free throws, but at least (Saturday night) that period was short.”
    Southeast Bulloch coach Mark Smith was pleased with the intensity exhibited to start the fourth, but when team-leader Kacey Jones fouled out with two minutes to go, he watched as the younger players finished out the game 0-for-5 from the floor.
    “A lot of it is just being a young team and having to put different personnel on the floor,” said Smith. “We got in foul trouble with our big girls, and it was just a matter of — in that last minute of the ball game — keeping our composure and keep doing what got us there. We’re still young and we still have a lot of trouble doing that.”
    Freshman Jacket point guard Olivia Melvin led all scorers with 17 points, and the Tigers had two players reach a double-double with Kanisha Parrish knocking in 11 points ang grabbing 10 rebounds. Guard Tess Fordham was all over the floor with 10 rebounds and 10 steals to accompany her six assists. Brooke Williams also hauled in 10 rebounds for Metter.

Metter JV 38, SEB JV 25
    The Metter Yigers B-Team knocked off Southeast Bulloch’s B-Team 28-25 Saturday in Metter.
    Metter’s Dean Eason led all scorers with 11 points and Devin Dekle added eight. Dereck Dobson led the Yellow Jackets with six.

Lady Yellow Jackets JV 37, Lady Tigers JV 31
    The Southeast Bulloch Lady Yellow Jacket B-Team got a win against the Metter Lady Tigers B-Team Friday, outscoring their opponent 37-31 on the road.
    Lady Jacket Olivia Melvin led all scorers with 13 points. Metter’s Lexi Allen led the Tigers with 12.

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