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Portal, SEB split

BROOKLET — Southeast Bulloch was in control all night and a 15-4 run spanning parts of the second and third quarters allowed the Lady Yellow Jackets to notch their second consecutive win, cruising by a score of 59-36 Friday night.
    The Jackets got off to a shaky start this season — some of their struggles easily attributed to youth — but look to be turning things around. SEB notched a hard fought win over Jefferson County Tuesday night and looked even more polished Friday.
    “A lot of this success is because of a good attitude on the team,” said SEB coach Ryan Lewis. “At Monday’s practice, I looked at this week’s games and told the girls that I thought we could win all of them. They have responded well and we’ve been playing some good basketball.”
    It was a solid all-around effort for SEB as Crystal Mikell (13 points), Chelsea Oglesby (11) and Nira Byrd (10) all scored in double-digits.
    Shaquisha Hagins led the Lady Panthers with nine points.
    One new weapon that SEB used in racking up points Friday was the 3-pointer.
    The Jackets haven’t depended on the outside shot much this season, but Portal gave them some space on the offensive end and SEB capitalized, hitting three of their four attempts from beyond the arc.
    Byrd and Oglesby each connected on 3’s late in the first quarter to put the Jackets at a 15-8 advantage that they never relinquished.
    “The return of Chrystal Mikell to the lineup has been a big difference,” said Lewis. “Not only can she shoot the ball from outside, but she can penetrate and give other girls open looks out there.”
    The Jackets continued to pull away in the second quarter thanks to a solid effort from the line.
    The bigger Panthers had the edge in rebounding, but also sent SEB to the line with their aggressive defensive play.
    SEB hit seven times from the line in the quarter and – thanks to solid defense of its own - took a 27-14 lead into halftime.
    The Jackets scored nine of the first 11 points in the second half and Portal never again got its deficit within 19 points.
    Southeast Bulloch will try to make it three in a row tonight as the Jackets travel to Metter for a 6 p.m. tipoff.

Portal 71, Southeast Bulloch 23
    Jamie Hagins caught fire early and the rest of the Portal boys followed suit as the Panthers hammered Southeast Bulloch 71-23 Friday night.
    Hagins connected on 6 3-pointers for a total of 18 points to lead Portal in the win.
    His teammates were right behind him as Panther shooters combined to knock down a total of 12 from behind the arc.
    Portal ran away with the game in the second quarter as the Panthers began the period on a 26-0 run and outscored the Jackets 29-2 in the quarter to take a 45-14 lead into halftime.
    The deep shot paved the way for the run and the blowout as eight of Portal’s 17 converted first half field goals were 3-pointers.
    From there, it was easy sailing as Portal built upon its lead in the third quarter and ran out the mercy clock over the final six minutes.
    Portal takes its momentum back home with it tonight when the Panthers host Bryan County.
    Southeast Bulloch travels to Metter.

JV Jackets 35, JV Panthers 30

    Southeast Bulloch’s junior varsity boys didn’t have a dominant scorer, but it didn’t need one as it notched a 35-30 victory over Portal Friday.
    No Yellow Jacket player reached double-digits on the score sheet, but seven total players scored to win in a team effort.
    Treston White led the Panthers with 12 points — all but two coming in the second half.

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