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No joy for Jackets
SEB Basketball
Statesboro High's Alyssa Staten, left, wrestles a rebound away from Southeast Bulloch's Lizzy Cone during the second quarter on Friday, Jan. 13. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

The Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets were swept in an odd doubleheader Friday night. The girls lost to Statesboro High by a score of 69-43, while the SEB boys played Benedictine and fell by a score of 68-48. 

With Benedictine being an all-boys school, the Southeast Bulloch girls were able to get Statesboro to come for a non-region matchup. Southeast Bulloch actually kept things close and only trailed 33-25 at the half. The Blue Devils pulled away in the second half though as they started attacking the rim and getting center Alyssa Staten involved. Staten ended the game with 27 points and 25 rebounds as the Blue Devils improved to 14-3 overall and 3-0 in region play. 

“We allowed too many points in the first half and did a much better job of playing defense in the second half,” said Statesboro coach Marty Holder. “I felt like we really picked up the energy and we rode Alyssa and Reya who both really came to play tonight.” 

For the Yellow Jackets there was plenty to be optimistic about in the first half as they made a few nice runs and kept within striking distance. The Jackets were playing the game without leading scorer Madison Taylor and head coach Marci Cochran knows what a tall task it is to play Statesboro High. 

“We were already undermanned and we know what kind of team Statesboro is,” said Cochran. “I thought we did a great job of hanging in there in the first half and battling. We haven’t had Madison in the lineup and I think without her we are starting to have a few players step up and hopefully when she gets back, we will be stronger because if this.” 

Staten had 27 points to lead the Blue Devils while Reya Johnson added 19 points. The Jackets were led by Alex Odom with 16 points while Korine Talkington had 12 points on four three pointers.  

The boys game ended up being very similar to the girl’s contest. The Jackets actually led Benedictine 27-25 at the half thanks in large part to being aggressive and getting to the free throw line where they were 11-18 in the first half. In the second half the Cadets pulled away going on a 16-2 run from late in the third through the early part of the fourth quarter as they won 68-48. 

“I think we came out with energy in the first half and gave it all we had, but we really looked tired in the second half,” said SEB coach Tony Raymond. “As a coach I need to do a better job preparing us for a complete game. Benedictine is a really tough team and they make you grind it out and we fell short in the second half. I hope we learned something from tonight’s loss and we can get better from it.” 

Southeast Bulloch was led by Zach Wells with 16 points while Collin Smith added 10 points. Benedictine was led by Caleb Jones with 19 points. Jones is the son of former Georgia Southern basketball standout Hamp Jones. 

Southeast Bulloch drops to 4-10 overall and 1-2 in region play. Up next for Southeast Bulloch they host Swainsboro with the girls at 4:30 and the boys at 6:00. Next up for Statesboro they host Jenkins High School from Savannah Saturday with the girls at 6:00 and the boys at 7:30.