South Jones picked up its first Region 5-5A win late Friday night.
Coming back from a five-point halftime deficit, the Braves pulled ahead in the third period and held on for a 54-47 win over county rival West Jones.
First-year head coach with the Braves Brian Butler said the long-awaited win felt great.
“We’ve had a little bit of a drought,” said Butler. “We’re still learning from each other even though it’s late in the year. We’re maturing and getting better every day.”
South Jones improves to 4-18 overall and 1-5 in Region 5-5A. West Jones falls to 8-14 on the season and 1-5 also in region play.
The seven-point victory gives South Jones the jump in seeding from four to three in Region 5-5A as the district tournament approaches. Butler said that was the goal coming into Friday night’s game. West Jones won the first meeting between the two back on Jan. 4., 65-62.
“Any time you have to win a game by a certain amount of points for a district seed, it’s tough,” Butler said. “We set the goal. We had to win by four. We knew that, and they knew that. So late in the game, I think the strategies changed a little bit. We wanted to pull them out and make them run with us a little bit more. And they wanted to get a few more deep shots to narrow the deficit. They have some good shooters, and they got some good looks for them. Lucky for us, we came out on top of that because it could have gone either way.”
South Jones outscored the Mustangs 17-6 in the third quarter to erase its halftime deficit.
“We came into this game expecting to perform well,” said Butler. “We’re just glad we came out on top of this one. Our guys are unselfish. They’re friends outside of basketball. Their closeness is what makes them fun to be around, and it also makes them unselfish in games. We emphasized tonight that the guy driving the lane will not be the one who scores all the time.”
Three Braves finished in double-digits. Jordan Miller led the team with 16 points, while Andre Thomas and Jackson Delk added 11 a-piece.
West Jones had two to score double-figures. Jared Naylor finished with 11 points, and Cedric Bender added 10.