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.
Just over a month into the season, junior Sheldon Hendrix is a rising star on a team that suddenly has a wealth of scoring.
Squaring off against Georgia Military in the final round of the Portal Holiday Classic Monday night, Hendrix had his coming out party. The junior connected on three 3-pointers in the first half and added four more in the third quarter alone to spur the Jackets on to a win.
“I was really feeling good out there,” Hendrix said. “I think we were all playing well. I just got hot and my teammates kept getting me the ball.”
GMC threatened to rally in the fourth quarter, but Hendrix stuck a fork in the comeback with his eighth 3 of the night – bringing his point total to 30.
Hendrix will have to keep up the hot shooting if SEB wants to content in one of the toughest regions in the state, but he thinks that his team is up to the challenge.
“We just have to keep playing well,” Hendrix said. “I know there’s a lot of tough teams we have to play, but if we keep executing, we can compete.”
Portal’s Shiann Hagins burst onto the scene as a freshman three seasons ago.
Hagins immediately took the reins of the Lady Panthers and has been an All-Region 3-A performer in each of her first three seasons. She led Portal in scoring last season and – more importantly – guided the team to its first state playoff appearance in over a decade.
“Shiann is the one that makes us go,” Portal coach Cliff Hubbard said. “I think we’ve got more talent overall this season, but we still look to (Hagins) when we need to make big plays.”
Surprisingly, Hagins is only the second leading scorer for the Panthers this season, although she’s still easily averaging over 10 points per contest. Breyonna Raymond is leading Portal – due in large part to finding open looks when Hagins is double-teamed.
Hagins is also contributing in other areas, averaging around three assists per game and leading Portal in rebounding.
Led by Hagins, the Panthers are a contender for a region championship this season. Either way, a strong finish to the season should give Portal’s do-it-all senior at least one more chance to win a state playoff game.