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SEB boys get the best of Appling County
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Southeast Bulloch's Aaron Houston gets behind the Appling County defense for an alley oop dunk during the second quarter Friday.

    It was a chilly night Friday at Southeast Bulloch, but the Yellow Jackets were anything but cold in a region-crossover game against Appling County Friday night.
    The Yellow Jackets started the first quarter hot, going 4-for-5 from the field on the way to a 87-65 victory.
    SEB (9-10, 3-4 Region 1-AAA) had three players in double figures Friday night in the win.
    Starting guard Aaron Houston and freshman Jontrell Wells combined for 39 points scoring 20 and 19 respectively. Markel Ming added 13 points, finishing the game 11-for-11 from the free-throw line. Brandon Tremble, who fouled out late in the game, scored nine points against the Pirates.
    “Everybody brought energy to the floor tonight and played with confidence. We had a great start tonight and Jontrell Wells got it going for us early. If we can get starts like that, we should be a tough team going forward,” said SEB head basketball coach John Page after his team’s 18-point victory. “We had some lulls the last couple of games and played down (to our competition) and it cost us.”
    Friday night’s win snapped a two-game losing streak from the Yellow Jackets. The Yellow Jackets led by as many as 26 points, but the Pirates wouldn’t give up, starting the fourth quarter on a 12-3 run to cut SEB’s lead to 69-56 with 5:48 left to play in the game.
    Ming however would seal the deal with his free-throw shooting, hitting a perfect 10-for-10 in the fourth quarter.
    Coach Page said his team learned a valuable lesson of not letting a team back into the game.
    “It’s a lesson learned, but once we put our starters back in there was no panic. We came down and made free throws. Markel Ming finished the game. He didn’t really have a great outside shooting night, but he made his free throws,” Page said.
    The Yellow Jackets came out with plenty of energy as Wells started the game at the point guard position. Wells hit two three-point shots and scored eight points in the first six minutes of the game.
    Not to be outdone by his teammate, Houston carried the Yellow Jackets out of a shooting slump early in the third quarter. At the 5:40 mark in the third Houston scored three consecutive baskets for SEB, including a highlight slam dunk.
    Joseph Anderson also had a solid night in the low post for the Yellow Jackets. Anderson scored nine points in the game.
    Page said Anderson is coming off an injured back and is proud of the way he played Friday night.
    “We have to have that from him. That was a difference in the game,” Page said.
    Next up for Southeast Bulloch, the Yellow Jackets host Claxton tonight. Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Lady Pirates 38, Lady Jackets 26
            After trailing most of the first half, the Appling County Lady Pirates outscored Southeast Bulloch 14-5 in the third quarter on the way to a 38-26 region-crossover win Friday night.
    The Lady Yellow Jackets (4-13, 2-5 Region 1-AAA) struggled against Appling County’s pressure trap defense, proving to be the difference in the game.
    Cole Robertson and Sara Howard led the way offensively for the Lady Yellow Jackets, scoring six points each. Howard also had four blocks against the Lady Pirates. Aalyiah Sandifer scored four points and Krystyn Turner scored three points to go along with five steals.
    “We all have to do our job. Whether we think it’s the right thing to do or not, we all have to do our job,” said SEB head coach Kristen Barnhill after the game. “We need to come away with those type of wins, especially at home. They (Appling County) are in the same boat as us and now we need to pick up a win somewhere.”
    Offensively, the Lady Yellow Jackets had trouble scoring down the stretch. In the fourth quarter, SEB managed to score just two points in the first seven minutes.
    Coach Barnhill said the Lady Pirates’ 1-3-1 defense in the second half disrupted the SEB’s offense and rattled their guards.
    Southeast Bulloch started the third quarter with back-to-back turnovers to start the third quarter. Appling County took a 16-15 lead at the 7:17 mark in the third quarter.
    “I don’t know if you heard me screaming on the sideline, but I was telling our team to ‘work inside, work inside,’” Barnhill said.  “Our guards wanted to pass around the perimeter. We have to get better.”
    The Lady Jackets will have a chance to get better today, as they face Caxton at home. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m.