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SEB splits with Tattnall
Southeast Bulloch's Philicia Batton (33) grabs a rebound for a put-back in front of Tattnall County's Kierra Howard during the first quarter on Monday in Brooklet. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

    BROOKLET — After last week’s winter weather postponed Tattnall County’s originally scheduled date with Southeast Bulloch, the Region 1-AAA rivals met Monday night.
    It took a while for the Yellow Jackets to thaw out, but a solid second half spurred SEB on to an 80-72 victory.
    With the win SEB improved to 15-7 overall and 12-3 in region play. The victory also ensured that the Jackets will be no worse than a No. 3 seed at the region tournament next week.
    “We knew going into the game that this was one we really needed to have,” SEB coach John Page said. “We knew that Tattnall needed it too. It was good to see our guys play well in a game with high stakes.”
    Early on, things looked bleak for the Jackets.
    Tattnall County rattled off the first eight points of the game and SEB misfired on its first seven field goal attempts. The Jackets made enough of their opportunities at the free throw line to stay competitive before the offense came around.
    The Battle Creek Warriors (13-9, 9-7) maintained a small lead throughout the second quarter before SEB made a late run. Markel Ming (18 points) finally drew the Jackets even with a deep 3 at the halftime buzzer.
    “Tattnall really played well early in the game,” Page said. “We had to step back and calm down, but we did a good job of regrouping.”
    With 4:27 to play in the third quarter, Preston Smith (15 points) sank a free throw to give SEB its first lead of the night at 43-42. Finally holding the edge on the scoreboard, the Jackets never allowed Tattnall to catch up.
    Michael Joyce — who led all scorers with 25 points — tried to keep the Warriors in the game over the final quarter, but Ming added another 3 to keep SEB comfortably ahead and the Jackets connected on 13 of their 14 free throws in the final period.

Lady Warriors 43, Lady Jackets 40
    The Southeast Bulloch girls were limited to just 12 points in the first half, but came on strong down the stretch, narrowly missing on an upset big against Region 1-AAA power Tattnall County.
    The Lady Yellow Jackets (14-9, 9-6) trailed by as many as 11 in the third quarter before launching their comeback attempt. Jasmine Roberts scored 13 of her game-high 20 points in the final period, but her 3-point attempt came up just short in the closing seconds as Tattnall (20-2, 14-2) escaped with a 43-40 win.
    “Things didn’t quite go our way, but I thought we played well,” SEB coach Johnnie Miller said. “We’re still in pretty good position as far as how we’ll line up in the (region) tournament. We just need to keep improving.”
    Ladasha Prigeon led the Lady Warriors with 19 points and was the only Tattnall player to score more than seven on the night.
    SEB closed within 41-40 with 8.5 seconds to play, but Naomi Tillman knocked down a pair of clutch free throws to set up Roberts’ final attempt.
    Southeast Bulloch jumps back into action tonight as the boys and girls travel to Savannah High for another region matchup. The Yellow Jackets return to Brooklet Friday as they host Beach for Senior Night.
    Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.