The Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets earned a split Tuesday in Brooklet. The Lady Jackets knocked off the visiting Jenkins Warriors 55-41, while the guys weren’t able to overcome their shooting woes and dropped a 53-48 decision.
The Lady Jackets are showing marked improvements from the start of the season, which was just a few weeks ago. This was evident in the Jackets 55-41 region victory over the Warriors Tuesday night.
The Jackets have slowly gelled, and gotten healthier and Tuesday night were hitting on all cylinders for the first half. In the third the Warriors made a run, but the Jackets weathered the storm in capturing their first region win of the season.
“That first half showed me, and them how good we can be,” said Southeast Bulloch coach Meredith Belcher. “We were making every shot, we made every pass, then things kind of fell apart in the second half. I was proud of the way they imagined things and were able to close strong.”
The Jackets showed the most improvement during the first half led by a stifling defense that created turnovers, which turned into easy baskets. A pair of layups by Delanie Thames, and a layup by Madison Taylor helped the Jackets to a 14-2 lead. Taylor added a pair of jumpers to extend the lead to 22-4, and the Jackets would go on to cruise to a 32-10 lead at the half.
As good as he Jackets looked in the first half, they looked like a totally different team in the third quarter. Southeast struggled with the Warriors man to man defense in the third, and committed too many fouls in the paint, as the Warriors were in the bonus with 4:11 left in the third quarter.
“I feel like we just got away from our game plan there in the third,” Belcher said. “I think we are best when we are pressing, and attacking. We slowed up for a while and it almost cost us. This was a good win, and hopefully we can build on this.”
The Warriors started the third on a 7-0 run, and eventually cut the Jacket lead to five in the fourth quarter. The Jackets were able to hold on though, and got a big basket by Thames with just over three minutes to go to push the lead back to 10. Taylor and Smith worked the ball around to help run out the clock as the Jackets went on to win by 14 points.
Southeast Bulloch improves to 2-6 on the season, and 1-1 in region play. Taylor led the way for the Jackets with 19 points, while Thames added 13. Jenkins was led by Storie Daise with 19 points.
The Southeast Bulloch boys have shot the ball pretty well this season, but were ice cold Tuesday night. A combination of good defense by the Jenkins Warriors, and shooting struggles saw the Jackets score their only field goal of the first quarter with just over a minute to play.
Southeast Bulloch hung around for most of the first half by playing well defensively themselves. The Warriors went on a run just before the half though, as they pulled out to a 25-18 halftime lead, and went on to win 53-48
“I don’t think we will score that few points the rest of the season,” said Southeast Bulloch coach Matt Kuykendall. “We couldn’t throw the ball in the ocean tonight.”
The Jackets got within one point on a number of occasions in the second half. Southeast Bulloch opened the second half on an 8-2 run, A Khristian Clark layup, and a foul cut the lead to 27-26. With 2:30 left in the third an A.J. Williams pull up jumper made it 31-30. The Warriors then went on an 8-1 run to extend their lead to 39-32 at the end of the third quarter.
The Jackets would get as close as four points late in the fourth on a three pointer by Clark with 3:55 left in the game, but the Warriors then went on a 6-0 run, and went on to win by five points.
“This is the first time this year that I feel we weren’t confident in our ability to drive and make baskets,” Kuykendall said. “I was proud of our defense, and we battled on the boards. We made improvements there, now we have to work on our offense.”
Jordyn Bradford led the Jackets with 13 points, while Williams and Jennard Mike each had 12 points. Juwan Boggs led the Warriors with a game high 19 points.
The loss drops the Jackets to 1-5 overall and 0-2 in region play. Up next Southeast Bulloch travels to Benedictine December 6th.