BROOKLET — The boys of Southeast Bulloch were able to muscle out a victory over Islands early in the week, but a non-region visit from Claxton proved to be just a bit too much as the Tigers earned a 63-57 win Saturday night.
The Yellow Jackets (1-2) trailed 46-35 after three quarters, but ripped off a 10-0 run to pull within a point in the opening minutes of the final period.
SEB remained close throughout the final quarter, but Claxton was able to come up with just enough big shots to maintain the lead.
“Southeast Bulloch is a very dangerous team,” Claxton coach Eric Bluestein said. “They gave us a lot of problems. There were places where we could have played better, but that is mostly a credit to how well SEB played.”
Cornelius Taylor scored a game-high 28 points for the Tigers (2-1), including a pair of 3-pointers in the final period to help keep the Jackets at bay.
Southeast Bulloch found itself playing from behind almost from the opening tip, but never appeared to be pressing or out of the game.
Markel Ming scored 20 to pace the Jackets and knocked down six of the Jackets’ impressive 10 3’s.
“Ming was tough to stop once he got going,” Bluestein said. “I thought we played well, but it took everything we had to fend off their depth and shooters.”
Caleb Carter’s inside bucket early in the fourth quarter capped the 10-0 run that brought SEB within 46-45, but D.J. Brewton converted on a three-point play for the Tigers — the first of his eight fourth quarter points — to regain some breathing room.
SEB once again closed within a point on a Lamont Ballard jumper with 2:30 to go, but the shots stopped falling for the Jackets down the stretch and Claxton was able to get out of town with the win.
Lady Tigers 44, Lady Jackets 32
The Southeast Bulloch girls have plenty of new faces in the lineup and have taken their lumps so far this season.
Saturday night brought about another loss for the 1-4 Lady Jackets, but a 44-32 setback showed plenty of positives as it came against a Claxton team that is one of the better teams in all of Class A.
SEB limited Claxton’s offense, but had few answers for Ikeria Brown, who led all scorers with 27 points.
“SEB is definitely an improved team,” Claxton coach Laura Aziz said. “We have to realize that the young teams we’ve been playing aren’t young anymore. Teams are ready for us and we need to expect everyone to give us their best game.”
The Jackets saw just two players reach double-digit scoring as Destiny Burke led SEB with 11 and Osh Hobbs netted 10.
Claxton now looks forward to the beginning of Region 3-A play on Tuesday at Savannah Country Day. On the same night, both SEB squads will try to move to 2-0 in Region 1-AAA competition on the road against a pair of tough squads from Johnson of Savannah.
Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9408.