Jaguars Elite 8 Bound As Jackson Knocks Off Wayne County 55-41
On Wednesday, the Maynard Jackson Lady Jaguars hosted the Wayne County Yellow Jackets in the second round of the Georgia High School Association 5A Playoffs. Jackson, last year's GHSA 3A Runner Up would be the ones to score first when #24 Sr. Tierenee Smith would come up with a steal and nail a 3-point basket but Wayne County’s #1 Sr. Chandler Henderson would eventually knock down a 3-pointer of her own to tie game with 5:55 to go in the opening period. The Jaguars would get another 3-point basket by #3 Jr. Tamara White, but the Yellow Jacket's #2 Sr. Amani Trice would answer right back with a 3-point basket once again tying the game and force Jackson to use a timeout with 4:20 in the first.
Jackson would eventually regain the lead after #2 Sr. Dominique Banks would complete 3-point play after drawing a foul and hitting the and one but Wayne County would come right back and get the driving lay up by #10. Up 11-10 Jackson would add to lead when #11 Sr. India Hill would knock down a 3-point basket to lift the Jaguars 14-10 with 2:20 to go in the first. After Jackson's White would draw a shooting foul and make both shots from the foul line Jackson would take a 16-10 lead with 1:50 remaining in the first. The Yellow Jackets would cut the Jackson lead to 16-12 after #10 would score on a drive to the basket.
With time winding down in the opening quarter, Wayne County would once again get possession after a missed opportunity by Jackson and would capitalize with a 2-point basket by #3 Fr. Terren Ward as time expire but Jackson would lead 16-14. In the second quarter, Wayne County’s Henderson would tie the game at 16 just seconds into the quarter and the Lady Yellow Jackets would take the lead after #25 would draw a shooting foul and make one of two foul shots giving Wayne County a 17-16 lead. After a couple of turnovers by both offenses, Wayne County would still be holding onto a one point lead with 5:06 to go in the half but would take a timeout to regroup.
Out of the timeout the Yellow Jackets would score off a lay up by #10 and then a turnover by Jackson would lead to another basket by Wayne County's #10 as she drew a foul. After making the foul shot, the Lady Yellow Jackets would be up 22-16 with 4:10 to go. On their ensuing possession, Jackson’s Banks would score and draw the foul but failed to make the free shot as Jackson would trail 22-18. As the quarter continued, Wayne County would lead 24-19 but Jackson’s Banks would draw another shooting foul to cut the Wayne County lead making it a 24-20 game. Jackson would cut the lead once more when Smith would score on a drive and draw a foul, making the extra shot to make it a 24-23 Wayne County lead but another turnover by the Yellow Jackets would lead to Jackson's #14 Sr. Tiamya Butler drawing a shooting foul and the Jaguars would regain the lead after Butler hit both shots as Jackson led 25-24 with 1:30 to go in the half.
After Wayne County would tie it with 1:07 to go Jackson’s Banks would draw another shooting foul and Jackson would go up 27-25 and would take that score into halftime. As the second half began Jackson opened up with four unanswered points as Banks and Butler would score on back to back baskets giving Jackson a 31-25 lead with 7:17 to go in the third. Jackson would then go on a 6-2 run to take a 37-26 lead but Wayne County would get a 3-point basket by Ward to make it a 37-29 game in favor of the Jaguars with 4:30 to go in the third. Jackson would then go up 42-33 after Smith connected on a 3-point basket and forcing the Yellow Jackets to use a timeout with 1:59 remaining in the third.
As the quarter would come to end, Jackson would add to their momentum as Banks would score a 2-point layup as time expired giving the Jaguars a 44-35 lead going into the fourth quarter. As the fourth quarter got underway, over 2 minutes would pass before either team would score as Jackson would go up 47-35 with 4:16 to go as Butler would come up with steal and layup. Jackson would add to their lead when Hill would hit a 3-point basket to make it a 52-35 with under 3 minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
As the quarter continued the Jaguars would find themselves holding onto a 55-39 lead with 1:55 to go as Wayne County would take a timeout to regroup. Out of the timeout, Wayne County would take advantage of a missed Jackson layup and score on the other end to make it a 55-41 game but there would not be enough time for the Yellow Jackets to mount a comeback as Jackson goes on to win by a final of 55-41. Jackson advances to the Elite 8 to face Griffin, who defeated Arabia Mountain 49-36.