Jefferson plays Banks today for spot in the state tournament
JEFFERSON has already started the postseason with a victory so to speak.
The Dragons won a Sunday coin flip to determine the no. 1 seed out of Region 8-AA South for this week’s region tournament.
“Winning the coin flip doesn’t get you anything except the position in the tournament that you’d kind of like to be in,” Jefferson coach Bolling DuBose said. “Like I told them (the players), that doesn’t win you a game.”
Both the Dragons and Elbert County finished the regular season with 11-1 records and needed the coin flip to break the tie.
The Dragons, who have received a first-round bye at the region tournament, play tonight (Wednesday) at 7 p.m. at East Hall against Banks County.
The winner of that Wednesday game will secure a spot in the state tournament. The loser goes home.
“We’re obviously going to have to play our best because it only takes one bad game to get you out,” DuBose said.
Banks County is coached by DuBose’s former assistant coach, Mike Cleveland.
“He knows everything we do,” DuBose said.
Jefferson warmed up for the postseason with a 71-33 win over Jackson County Friday.
The Dragons (17-8, 11-1) scored the first 23 points of the contest in the dominating win.
“You don’t see that happen a whole lot,” DuBose said of the 23-0 lead. “We’ve had it happen to us too. If you stay in the game long enough, you’re going to have it both ways. I thought our kids did a great job early.”
Jeshua Kidd hit a long jumper from the corner in the waning seconds of the first quarter to give Jefferson a 17-0 lead.
The Dragons built a 23-0 lead in the second quarter after a basket from Satchel Turpin.
Jackson County got on the scoreboard nearly two and a half minutes into the second quarter with a free throw from Xavier Harper, which drew a sarcastic cheer from the Panther student section. The Dragons upped their lead to 53-27 after three quarters and unloaded their bench in the final quarter. Jefferson’s subs pushed the lead over 30.
DuBose’s only gripe with the win: free throw shooting. Jefferson, which spent much of the night at the charity stripe, hit just 26-of-50 attempts. The coach called that “horrible.”
Meanwhile, Jackson County dealt with its own problems.
Kolin Zimmer scored seven points to lead the Panthers on a frigid offensive night.
“We just didn’t shoot it well,” Jackson County coach Britt Beaver said. “We didn’t shoot it well from the free throw line. And the guys, they’ve worked hard. We did a ton of shooting all week. Shot it lights out, and then we got into the game and just struggled. Struggled to put it in the hole.”