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Lady Jackets come back for 46-36 win

    BROOKLET — The Southeast Bulloch girls erased a 10-point deficit in the second half and rode the strength of a 13-0 closing run to defeat Metter by a score of 46-36 Tuesday evening in Brooklet.
    “I saw a whole lot of drive and desire from our team tonight,” said SEB coach Ryan Lewis. “We got down a little, but we didn’t quit. We started executing like I thought we could and got the win.”
    Trailing 36-33 early in the fourth quarter, the Lady Yellow Jackets made their decisive run.
    Jasmine Roberts, who led all scorers with 16 points, cut the lead to 36-35 with a layup, and Dinesha Baker hit a free throw to tie things up.
    Roberts then converted steals into layups on consecutive Metter possessions to give the Jackets a 40-36 lead that they never relinquished.
    “We knew that we could win,” said Roberts. “We just focused and started playing a little better late in the game.”
    Following a tightly contested first quarter, Metter was the first to jump out to a sizeable lead..
    Trailing 11-10 early in the second quarter, the Tigers went on a 6-0 run highlighted by a pair of buckets from Kayla Lanier.
    SEB clawed right back into the game, but a Brittany Deloach 18-footer with just three seconds remaining gave Matter a 21-16 advantage at the half.
    “Early on, we just weren’t as sharp,” said Lewis. “It was just a matter of playing a little better and getting some confidence.
    Coming out of the locker room, it looked like Metter was going to run away with it. Kayla Lanier (12 points) got a layup off of a fastbreak layup and Lexi Allen (10 points) drilled a 3 to extend the lead to 26-16.
    But just as it looked like the Tigers had seized the upper hand, SEB came storming back.
    SEB came up with steals on back to back possessions that led to three points and a Nira Byrd jumper brought the Jackets within 26-24.
    In all, SEB was able to force nine third quarter turnovers, and Effie Manahan’s jumper with just under a minute to play finally evened up the score.
    “I thought that our defense was really the key,” said Lewis. “It gave us some easy baskets and set us up to be able to come back.”
    Tuesday’s win was the second straight for the Jackets, who notched their first victory of the year last Saturday at Portal. SEB will try to make it three in a row Friday as it hosts Effingham County.

Metter 71, Southeast Bulloch 20
    Metter exploded out of the gate and never looked back, crushing Southeast Bulloch, 71-20 Tuesday.
    The Tigers scored the game’s first 21 points and the contest was never in doubt.
    Ryan Sparks and Devin Byrd led Metter with 11 points each and Michael Edwards chipped in with 10 more.
    David Johnson and Josh Suchosky led the Yellow Jackets with four points each.
    The Tigers led 26-4 after the first quarter and Byrd’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer gave Metter an insurmountable 45-8 lead at halftime.
    Both teams emptied their benches as the second half began, and the Metter reserves easily ran down the running clock in the fourth quarter.

    Mike Anthony can be reached at (912) 489-9404.