The inexperience of the Jackson team showed early as three of the guys lost in the first round on Friday to tough competition, but seniors Dalton Loveless and Alex Lopez advanced to the quarters, one win away from advancing to Macon.

There they were, the tournament’s sixth seed out of seven, down by only one and going toe to toe with the third-seeded Kendrick girls who had beaten them by 15 points in December and by 18 in January.

It was a bad night of basketball as the Lady Devils followed a first half of tenacity with second half of timidity, leading to a 55-46 loss to Westside-Macon.

The Piedmont Academy senior, a Jackson resident, officially signed with the Mountain Lions recently as she was joined by family, teammates, coaches and classmates.

The Red Devils began as if they were going to finish what the girls started, romping to a 13-point lead after one quarter (25-12). Then, the wheels came off and the Bulldogs proceeded to outscore Jackson by 28 points.

Going into the tournament, the Red Devils held a record of 4-2 and 1-0 in region with highlight wins over rival Mary Persons, by a score of 49-24, and region foe Central Macon, also by the score of 49-24.

Amey hasn’t employed a pressing defense to this point — not because the Red Devils didn’t need it, but because pressing defense requires depth.

The Tornadoes could’ve scouted all 10 of the Red Devils’ regular-season games and they wouldn’t have seen what they saw on what began as a rainy Friday night in the first round of the Georgia High School Association playoffs at Hugh Mills Stadium.

When the Red Devils needed somebody to take the starch out of Pike County’s offense, up stepped Laderrick Johnson, known to his teammates as Little Man.

Henderson’s first win of the 2018 campaign and its first under head coach Paul Sorrow came against Byron on Aug. 22 by a score of 36-8.

It didn’t matter where the ball was Friday against Howard at Red Devil Hill, it belonged to the Red Devils whenever they wanted it bad enough.

The Red Devils endured nearly two hours of cooling their heels while lightning flashed within 10 miles of the stadium before their 42-6 thrashing at the hands of the Wildcats was complete.

What Jackson is trying to impress upon the new guys is that the season isn’t supposed to be over before the turkey and cranberry sauce are served.

Already, they appear more ready for this season’s opener Friday at Locust Grove than they were for last season’s opener at home against Swainsboro — at least in the eyes of Dary Myricks, their coach.

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