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SEB sweeps 1st round of playoffs
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Southeast Bulloch's Andrew Kalaani, left, celebrates after putting the Yellow Jackets in the lead with his first of two goals during the second half against Jenkins Tuesday.

    BROOKLET — Andrew Kalaani scored two second half goals to lead the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets to a come-from-behind 4-1 win over Jenkins in the first round of the Region 1-AAA playoffs Tuesday night and clinching a spot in the state playoffs.
    Kalaani, who was injured last week and didn’t play for the entire first half, came in 10 minutes into the second half with the score tied at one. Seven minutes later, Kalaani took a long throw in and placed a header over just over the outstretched arms of Warriors’ keeper Erich Hoffstetter to give SEB a 2-1 lead.
    Five minutes later, Kalaani struck again. After taking a pass in the middle of the penalty box, he played a ball to the corner to Evan Heidler who crossed it back to Kalanni who as able to place a shot into the back of the net.
    Kalaani was taken out shortly after that, his night finished with two goals in 15 minutes of action.
    Andrew Cribbs tied the game early in the second half when he took a pass from Heidler. With the goalkeeper out of position, Cribbs had an easy shot to even the score at one.
    LA Anderson capped off the scoring when he gathered a poor clearance from Jenkins and fired a shot past the keeper for the final tally of the night.
    “I thought in the second half we really found our game and were able to capitalize on our chances,” said SEB assistant coach Shane Cribbs. “We need to come out in the first half (in Friday’s game) the same we played the second half tonight.”
    Southeast Bulloch fell behind 1-0 midway through the first half when David Fonseca was able to receive a pass, take two touches to settle the ball and then strike a low, hard shot to the back post to give Jenkins the lead.
    Despite trailing in the first half, SEB had the majority of the scoring opportunities, with six shots on goal to the Warriors’ two. In addition the Yellow Jackets had several opportunities that went just wide of the goal.
    Even with the scoring chances, Southeast Bulloch spent much of the first half playing long ball in which they would send long passes behind the defense and hope to outrun the defenders and capitalize. However, Jenkins’ goalkeeper played aggressively, coming to the top of the penalty box and beyond to thwart the Yellow Jacket strategy.
    The second half saw Southeast Bulloch use more of a possession game, mixing in the long ball more judiciously, to break down the Jenkins defense.
    While that aggressiveness paid off in the first half, Hoffstetter was out of position on three of Southeast Bulloch’s second half goals.
    The Yellow Jackets dominated the stat line, outshooting Jenkins 11-5 and earning seven corner kicks to the Warriors’ four.
    Southeast Bulloch will play Friday night for a chance to advance to the Region 1-AAA title game and earn the automatic home state playoff game that comes with finishing in the top two in the region.

Lady Jackets cruise  to victory
    Southeast Bulloch scored three goals in the first 12 minutes and cruised to a 5-1 victory in the first round of the Region 1-AAA playoffs, advancing to the semifinals and, more importantly, securing a spot in the state playoffs for the fifth consecutive year.
    The Lady Jackets dominated all aspects of the game, limiting Jenkins to only one shot on goal in the first half while maintaining possession and spending most of the game on the offensive side of the field.
    Freshman Emily Barnard started the scoring off less than three minutes into the game when we took a free kick from Cole Robertson and shot it past the Jenkins goalkeeper.
    “I tell our team every game we need to get a goal in the first five minutes and get the other team back on their heels and we were able to do that tonight,” said SEB head coach Kristen Barnhill.
    Five minutes later, Marissa Mobley took an errant goal kick five minutes later and found an open net for a 2-0 lead.
    Kera Olsen got in to the act four minutes later, taking a rebound off a Barnard shot and finding the back of the net to give the Lady Jackets a comfortable 3-0 lead less than 12 minutes into the game.
    Jenkins struggled to string together more than two or three passes for most of the half as the Lady Jacket defense swarmed to the ball and either knocked it away or, more often, were able to regain possession. Late in the half, Jenkins was able to cut the lead to 3-1 on a ball in the box that Asia Rosier was able to sneak past the SEB defense.
    The Lady Jackets responded one minute later when Robertson was able to capitalize on a penalty kick to extend the lead back to three.
    The Yellow Jackets are on Spring Break this week, so their schedule is not the same as when school is in session.
    “It’s kind of frustrating that the Region Playoffs fall on Spring Break week, but our team knows they’re expected to be here and play.”
    Olsen capped the scoring early in the second half when she took a cross from Robertson and was able to guide it to the back of the net.
    The margin could have been even bigger for SEB as they had 14 shots on goal in the second half alone, but Olsen’s was the only one to find the back of the net.
    The Lady Jackets return to action Friday, most likely on the road, for the 1-AAA semifinals. A win there would guarantee the Lady Jackets a home state playoff game.