Jeff Davis High’s boys team schedule has been dotted with strong opponents and it began taking its toll during the holidays and early into 2020.
The Jackets lost games to 13-3 Class AAA Pierce County, 15-3 Class AAA Long County and 17-4 Carmel Christian of Matthews, N.C.
But when Woodville-Tompkins came to Hazlehurst with a 5-1 Region 2-AA record, the tough competition seemed to have the Jackets primed. And they responded by downing the Wolverines of Savannah by an eye-opening 31 points, winning 70-39. It was the Jackets’ best performance of the season. Through last week’s games, the Jackets had a 13-5 record and are second in the region with a 6-1 mark. Swainsboro leads the way at 7-1.
In a 57-47 win over Ware County in the Swamp Classic in Waycross, C.J. Parker led the way with 18 points followed closely by Ja’Queze Kirby with 16, including hitting 11-of-14 free throws. Ti King was also in double figures with 13, Mike Dotson had six, Chase Poppell hit a 3-pointer and Brandon Sturgis added a free throw.
In the second round of the Classic, the Jackets had Pierce on the ropes, leading 38-35 going into the last quarter. But the Bears rallied to take the win 56-53, hitting 14-of-17 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Kirby led all scorers with 29 points and was joined in double figures by King with 15. Sturgis scored seven and Dotson two as only four JD players scored.
In the final Classic game, the Jackets and Long County battled to a 30-30 halftime deadlock. But the Blue Tide from Ludowici outscored Jeff Davis by nine points in each of the last two quarters to take a 72-54 victory.
Kirby hit four 3-point shots on his way to a 27-pt. performance. King had 13, Dotson, Sturgis and Tre Chandler had four each, and T.J. McMillan added two.
Against Coffee County in Hazlehurst, Jeff Davis held a 10-pt. lead going into the fourth quarter and had to fight off a Trojan comeback to claim a 49-47 win. Coffee’s Shelton Paulk scored 12 fourth quarter points on four shots from beyond the arc to stoke the comeback bid.
King’s 15 points led the JD scoring. Kirby had 10, Sturgis eight, Dotson and C.J. Parker seven each and McMillan two.
Against Charlton County, the Jackets built a 25-point lead after three quarters at 55-30 and turned over the remainder of the game to the bench as the Jackets won 73-59.
Kirby and Sturgis led the way with 27 and 19 points respectively. King joined them in double figures with 10, Parker had six, Bran Swain three, and Poppell, McMillan and Aahiyus Allen two each.
Winless Bryan County was no match for the Yellow Jackets in Pembroke as JD won 77-28.
Kirby scored 14 in the second stanza alone, leading a 30-4 advantage in the quarter. He finished with 23 points. Sturgis had 13, King 10, Swain, Poppell and Parker six each, Chandler four and McMillan two.
With nine players on their team ranging in height from 6-3 to 6-8, the 17-4 Carmel Christian Cougars of Matthews, N.C., were simply too tall and too talented as they defeated the Yellow Jackets 82-66 in a holiday tournament in Charleston, S.C.
The Cougars’ 20-4 third quarter advantage proved to be the difference in the game.
Ti King and Ja’Queze Kirby led the Yellow Jackets with 22 and 19 points respectively.
Last week in Hazlehurst, the Jackets held off a furious final quarter rally by Bacon County to hold on for a 78-76 win. The Raiders trailed by 14 entering the final quarter when the out-scored the Jackets 32-20.
King led four Jackets in double figures with 21 points. Kirby had 19, Parker 13 and Sturgis 12. McMillan had five and Swain four.
The Woodville-Tompkins game got off to a slow start with JD leading only 9-6 after one quarter. But from there on out it was all Jeff Davis as the Jackets stunned the Wolverines for a 70-39 win.
Again, four Jackets scored in double figures. Kirby had 24, Sturgis 15, Dotson 14 and King 11. Parker chipped in four points and Chandler two.
Jeff Davis closed out last week’s action with a 75-53 win over Appling County in Baxley.
Kirby, Parker and King were all in double digits with 19, 18 and 11 respectively. Dotson had eight, Sturgis six, Poppell five, and Chandler and Allen four apiece.
Score by quarters:
JDHS 8 16 13 20 -57
WCHS 11 7 14 15 -47
JDHS 20 7 11 15 -53
PCHS 14 9 12 21 -56
JDHS 14 16 15 9 -54
LCHS 14 16 34 18 -72
Coff. 13 6 8 20 -47
JDHS 17 7 13 12 -49
JDHS 18 12 25 18 -73
Char. 11 5 14 29 -59
JDHS 22 8 4 30 -64
Carmel 19 15 20 28 -82
JDHS 13 30 24 10 -77
Bry. 10 4 6 8 -28
Bac. 14 11 19 32 -76
JDHS 14 19 25 20 -78
WTHS 6 12 10 9 -38
JDHS 9 17 19 25 -70
JDHS 16 17 21 21 -75
ACHS 6 13 9 25 -53