The Tigers traveled to Savannah High’s new basketball gym Tuesday night knowing the Blue Jackets are particular about defending their home turf. As expected, the men Blue Jackets gave it their all, sending the game into overtime and coming out on top. What was unexpected was the Lady Jackets low-scoring points and playing skills that allowed the Lady Tigers to run away with a win.
Tigers 69, Blue Jackets 76 (OT)
Despite what Tiger head coach David Jones called an excellent team performance, the Blue Jackets capitalized on missed free throws and some ball-handling errors to edge out a win in overtime against the Tigers.
Jones said his team was able to run the floor with Savannah and took care of their assignments but the Blue Jackets just got one step ahead due to errors.
“We actually had a six-point lead late in the fourth quarter,” Jones said. “But, of course, Savannah is a great ball club with tremendous athletes and they continued to put pressure on us which we handled pretty well for most of the night. But we got pretty careless and a little fatigued and made some critical mistakes in protecting the ball. We also missed some free throws throughout the game that came back to haunt us. We also had a few more turnovers than we normally do and they got a few second shots on us that hurt us.”
Jones said the entire team stepped up and played hard and at the end there was no one thing or person at fault for the loss.
“Brandon Hayes continues to have great games,” he said. “Robert Sims had an average game for Robert. Jarvis Wadsworth had a normal game. Dominque Everett came off the bench and played well. He received a lot of good passes and was able to finish the play with baskets. Unfortunately, we just ran a little short.”
Jones felt his team was still in it as they entered overtime but some critical errors in ball handling ended their chance to win.
“In overtime, we had an opportunity to get back into the game,” he said. “But we made some more ball-handling mistakes which was the key element of us not pulling it out.”
Preparing for the Tigers’ next challenge against regional opponent Johnson, Jones compared the defense he just saw versus Johnson’s style of play.
“Johnson is a team with a lot of tradition but they play a different style of ball than Savannah,” he said. “Johnson has one of the best inside players in this area of Georgia while Savannah High has two of the best guards in this area. Of course, we like to think we have some of the best guards also but Johnson’s main strength is their potential with the inside game. We will adjust our defense throughout the game based on what Johnson throws our way.
The Tigers face Johnson tonight at home. Tip-off is at 6:30 p.m. The Tigers then travel to Tattnall County on Saturday.
Jordan Johnson 18
Dominique Everett 10
Jarvis Wadsworth 14
Robert Sims 4
Antonio Allen 4
Kentrell Hargrove 3
Lady Tigers 57, Lady Jackets 30
The Lady Tigers wasted little time in getting a solid lead over the Lady Blue Jackets and were steadfast on maintaining their game plan.
“We led from the beginning and never looked back,” Lady Tiger head coach Faye Baker said. “I think at halftime we had practically a 20-point lead. But during halftime, we still talked about going out and winning the third quarter and winning the fourth quarter and not having any lapses.”
If anything was a concern to Baker it was her team’s battle with turnovers.
“I’m still concerned with our turnover ratio,” she said. “We still had 21 turnovers. But the team is playing better minus that one stat. If we can eliminate or reduce turnovers, that is going to make us a whole lot better than we are right now.”
Baker said she was pleased with the overall effort, enthusiasm and intensity her team displayed in their win over Savannah. More so, she is happy to have Mariah Maternik back in the game after an injury earlier this season forced her to sit out.
“The return of Mariah Maternik is a big plus for us being that she is our big playmaker,” she said. “She is still playing off the bench right now because we wanted to bring her in slowly but the rest of the team is just happy to see her back in uniform and it gave us an added boost.
The win against Savannah adds another regional victory for the Lady Tigers who now sit at 4-1 in the region.
Baker said it was a nice win, especially since it was a road game. She is now eying regional opponent Johnson who comes into the Tigers’ den tonight.
“Last couple of years, Johnson has been rebuilding but I often tell the girls it doesn’t matter and we can’t take any team lightly,” she said. “We have to play everybody as if they are undefeated. That is the mindset we need to instill in our team. We know on any given night anything can happen. We do play at home and teams take pride in playing at home and hopefully we can continue to execute better in each game.”
Seandre Lee 14
Jasmine Alonso 9
Mariah Maternik 6
Jammie McLemore 6
Mei-Sean Lee 5
Stevonna Scott 5
Brytnii Speight 4
Camille Jackson 2
Raven Anderson 2
LaTrinna White 1
Quintunya Chapman 1