BROOKLET — Southeast Bulloch learned the tough lesson Saturday night that the Region 3-A schedule will be as brutal as ever.
Laney launched itself into a big early lead with a 23-2 first quarter run and continued to pull away as the Wildcats earned a 111-11 victory over the Yellow Jackets.
Robert Turner led Laney with 28 points, Rod Hall trailed close behind with 22, and three other Wildcats scored in double-digits.
The clear factor in Laney’s dominance was its large advantage in athleticism.
The Wildcats’ high-flying forwards gave them the rebounding edge on both ends of the floor, quick first steps allowed Laney guards to drive deep into the Yellow Jacket defense, and a deep bench and unrelenting press wore down SEB and forced it into turnover after turnover on its own end of the floor.
"Laney really kept up the pressure," said SEB coach John Page. "It was like a blanket was getting thrown over our guys as soon as we touched the ball."
If the first quarter didn’t prove Laney’s explosiveness, the second quarter certainly did.
Still pressing and forcing turnovers well after the game was in hand, the Wildcats scored 32 more points in the quarter. Unable to advance to ball through Laney’s pressure, the Jackets managed just four field goal attempts in the period and three missed free throws in the quarter’s final minutes left SEB scoreless in the frame and gave Laney a 55-5 lead at halftime.
"It wasn’t too pretty," said Page. "Losses like that hurt, but all we can ask is that our players give it their best effort. We need to pick things up and come back next time out."
The Jackets finally got back on the scoreboard early in the second half, but the damage was done. Laney continued to stretch its lead and both teams emptied their benches as reserves played out much of the final two quarters.
SEB took its only lead of the game before any time had run off the clock.
Laney failed to turn in its starting lineup on time and was subsequently charged with a technical foul.
Josh Suchovsky hit on one of two free throws and Blake Lundy sank a layup on the Jackets’ first possession to give SEB a 3-0 lead, but the Wildcats quickly recovered and set the rout in motion.
Lady Wildcats 80, Lady Jackets 29
Things were just as rough for the SEB girls, who hung tough in the early minutes but ultimately just couldn’t keep pace as Laney powered its way to an 80-29 win.
The Lady Yellow Jacket offense had some success in the opening minutes and notched 10 first quarter points against the aggressive Lady Wildcat defense.
But Laney had much more firepower than SEB could handle. Mykara Jones scored 10 of her game-high 14 points in the fourth quarter and she got plenty of help from her teammates as the Wildcats built a 33-10 lead after the opening period.
The SEB defense finally slowed Laney down in the second quarter, but the Wildcats still managed to stretch their lead to 47-16 at halftime.
Laney erased all doubt in the third quarter, exploding for 25 more points, and the mercy clock counted down the game’s final minutes as the Wildcats celebrated their region win.
Mike Anthony can be reached at (912) 489-9404.