Southeast Bulloch’s boys basketball team got a taste of what type of pressure they can expect playing in Region 1-AAA.
Tuesday night the Yellow Jackets couldn’t extend their winning streak to three games as they faced a tough Johnson High School team, losing 78-43.
The crisp offense from the Atomsmashers mixed in with a tight press defense was too much for SEB, who drops to 2-4 on the season with a 1-2 region record.
The Yellow Jackets were led offensively by Markel Ming, who scored nine points. De’Sean Taylor finished the game with eight points and Aaron Houston scored seven.
“We mentioned at the beginning (of the game) that we didn’t want to speed up things we wanted to slow it down because we knew (Johnson) was going to come out with pressure,” said SEB head coach John Page. “From the first possession we speed up down the floor and you have to settle down against teams like this.”
The Atomsmashers came into Tuesday’s game attempting to rebound from a tough 66-63 loss to Southwest Atlanta Christian.
The game was relatively close in the first quarter with three minutes left, however, a couple of transition buckets off turnovers allowed the Atomsmashers to end the first on a 11-4 run.
Johnson would mix pressure throughout the game consistently.
“We haven’t arrived yet. We have to keep working. Johnson is just one of the tough teams in this region and if we want to be in the top four we have to get better,” Page said. “We just have to see more pressure and hopefully we can simulate the pressure they put on us tonight in practice.”
With a player out due to injury and Caleb Carter in early foul trouble, SEB struggled to get going offensively.
Next for Southeast Bulloch, the Yellow Jackets will face Tattnall County on the road.
Delete - Merge UpLady Jackets fall to Johnson
Turnovers and a relentless Johnson press halted Southeast Bulloch’s chance of defeating the Atomsmashers in a region game Tuesday night.
The Lady Yellow Jackets (1-7, 1-2 Region 1-AAA) had 22 turnovers in the first half to go along with just 10 points in a 62-23 loss to the Atomsmashers.
Lady Yellow Jackets head coach Kristen Barnhill said after the game that her team needs to come out with more energy in the first half if they plan to be competitive in a tough region.
“We played in spurts. Our defense is continuing to improve, but we’re having trouble boxing out. If we can limit the team to just one shot per possession, we can stay in some of these ball games,” Barnhill said. “This is just a small sample of what we can expect in this region.
“We get flustered, we get frustrated and it’s a tough region. It’s early in the season so there’s still time to improve.”
Sara Howard led the Lady Blue Devils with six points, six rebounds and six blocked shots. Cole Robertson, Nydraysha Ford and Roshaunda Johnson all added three points. Osh Hobbs was held to three points against Johnson, however, on the defensive end she had 12 rebounds and four blocked shots.
To start the game, coach Barnhill mixed up the Lady Yellow Jackets’ starting lineup. Ford and Bryanna Soles replaced Johnson and Robertson at the guard position.
“We’re just trying to get as many ball handlers out there as possible. We’re trying to get the kids that work hard in practice a little more playing time,” Barnhill said.
The Atomsmashers opened the game on a 13-0 run and never looked back. At the end of the second quarter, Johnson opened up a 20-point lead.
Barnhill said the team’s struggles on offense was due to a lack of communication and teamwork.
“We keep relying on one or two players to break the press and score all our points. Offensively, we have to work as a team,” Barnhill said.
SEB’s next opponent will be Tattnall County on the road Friday.
Horace Holloman may be reached at (912) 489-9408.