SAVANNAH – Coach Johnny Miller had no answer, not even a guess, as to why his Southeast Bulloch team came out flatter than a pancake in the opening round of the Region 1-AAA tournament.
Miller thought the Lady Yellow Jackets were ready, but as it turned out they weren’t. As a result Pierce County rolled to a surprisingly easy 53-33 win Thursday night at the Beach High School gym.
Southeast Bulloch (16-12) certainly was not overconfident as it had split a pair of regular season games with the Lady Bears (12-11), winning by seven and losing by six. Whatever the cause the Jackets fell behind 9-0 to start the game and never recovered.
“We were flat all night,” Miller said. “We sat and watched the boys in that three overtime game, and maybe all the waiting got us out of whack. I don’t know…”
While they were committing more turnovers than normal, and were unable to get anything to fall the Lady Jackets actually got themselves back into contention thanks in part to Pierce County’s own miscues before the roof caved in in the third quarter.
Actually, it may have started on the final shot of the first half.
Southeast Bullock had clawed back to within three points at 20-17 after trailing by as many as eight when the Lady Bears’ Matsha Ashley hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer. The horn was going off when the ball hit the net.
That was a harbinger of things to come for the Lady Jackets as Pierce County came out on fire in the third quarter. The Lady Bears’ lead was 27-21 following a basket by SEB’s Jamie Brown.
That, however, was the last points the Jackets would score in the quarter as Pierce closed on a 13-0 run to erase any doubt as to the outcome. The Bears scored the first three points of the fourth quarter to make it a 43-21 game, and that was it.
“This was one of our worst games of the year,” Miller said. “You can’t have bad games in the tournament.”