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Basketball season in full swing

By Donald Heath

Special for the Effingham Herald

 SAVANNAH — Two out of three ain’t bad.

South Effingham’s girls began the basketball season knocking off Southeast Bulloch and Bryan County before taking one on the chin at Calvary Day on Monday night.

Mustangs coach Jenifer Hall understands there will be ups and downs throughout the season with her young squad that includes five freshmen and seven sophomores on the 16-player roster.

“During the first two games, we pressed the ball full court and created a lot of turnovers and finished well off the steals,” Hall said. “We’re still working out the kinks on offense and who’s going to play what position.”

Steady senior Melanie Zeigler, a 6-foot-2 post player, will be the focal point. She produced 10 points and 12 rebounds during the 43-29 win over Southeast Bulloch on Friday (Nov. 20) and 10 points and 11 rebounds in a 52-32 victory over Bryan County the next night.

Zeigler had some help. Shi’Asia House, a sophomore wing, poured in 22 points against the Redskins.

But two nights later, South struggled without Zeigler while playing Calvary, a 22-win team a year ago. The Mustangs trailed by only two during the first minute of the second quarter before the Cavaliers blew the game open, 80-34.

For SEHS, Annabelle Sheley, a senior post player, had a team-high 11 points and House added six.

“(Playing Calvary) gave us some experience against a very talented team and I think the girls will learn from some of their mistakes just watching the film,” Hall said.

South Effingham’s boys did not play Calvary on Monday but opened with Southeast Bulloch and Bryan County during the weekend.

The Mustangs lost to SEB 65-53 on Friday but rebounded to give first-year coach Jason Napier his first win with a 72-39 blowout of Bryan County on Saturday.

Effingham County’s boys and girls began their seasons at the Evans Tip-Off Classic. The boys dropped a 67-48 decision to Westside (Augusta) while the Rebel girls, in coach Monica James’ debut, also lost to Westside, 50-19.

“We just struggled to score,” ECHS boys coach Jake Darling said. “The game was physical and when Khiry (Wallace) went out, it seemed to take the wind out of us.”

Darling said Wallace, an all-region performer at guard last season, left with a dislocated finger, but shouldn’t miss any future playing time.

Khiry’s brother Keion Wallace, a sophomore, had 24 points. including 10-for-10 from the free-throw line. Rashad Scott, a sophomore point guard, added 17 points.

But the rest of the team combined for only seven points.

All four local high school teams will be off this weekend. The ECHS boys and girls return to action Monday (Nov. 30) on the road at Savannah Christian.

SEHS’ boys and girls met Screven County in Sylvania on Nov. 24 before coming back to Savannah for a doubleheader at Savannah Country Day on Dec. 1.