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Coach urges 2-2 Lady Rebels to stay the course
Effingham County's Jasmine Kennedy (54) and Tattnall County's Hallia Carl (12) battle for a rebound during Saturday's game. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff
They played hard and I just told them to keep doing what they've been doing and we will be OK.
Lady Rebels coach Patrick McClure

SPRINGFIELD — The final bell of the day doesn't signal the end of learning for Effingham County's girls basketball team. In some ways, it means the education process is just getting started.

The Lady Rebels are in the early stages of a building process under first-year coach Patrick McClure, who is satisfied with the results thus far.

Effingham County, often employing an attacking style of defense, is off to a 2-2 start, including a 53-44 home loss to Tattnall County on Saturday.

"Tattnall County has a very good team," McClure said. "It would have been nice to win but we've got a ways to go before being able to stay with a team that has been running the same system for awhile."

The coach added, "We're still learning a new system and I think that hinders us sometimes throughout the game. I'm proud of my girls, though. They played hard and I just told them to keep doing what they've been doing and we will be OK."

The Lady Rebels sputtered early against Tattnall County. More than seven minutes passed before they got on the scoreboard with a pair of free throws by Catherine Hall.

Prior to Hall's successful shots, Effingham County was 0-for-7 from the charity stripe and didn't come close to hitting a field goal.

"We definitely had a cold start," McClure said. "We finally got going and got aggressive."

The Lady Warriors (2-0) started only slightly better. The opened a 4-0 lead and didn't score again until early in the second period. By that point, Effingham County was up 5-4 thanks to a 3-pointer by Jordan Wallace.

The Lady Rebels extended their lead to as many as seven points before Tattnall County rallied. It took a 16-15 advantage with 3:17 left before halftime and never trailed again.

Tattnall County led 22-19 at intermission and 43-35 at the end of the third quarter.

"There are times on offense and defense where we lay back and are not aggressive," McClure said. "I have to remind them to be aggressive the whole game."

De'ja House paced Effingham County, which connected on just 22 of 48 free throws, with 14 points. Hall and Wallace added nine and six, respectively.

Kayla Garrett led the Lady Warriors with 14 points. McKenzie Williams added 11.

Tattnall County (1-1) led the boys game 14-7 after the first quarter and was never headed. Its halftime advantage was 31-16.

Tyler Griffin scored a team-high 12 points for the Rebels (0-4). Jaquez Brown and Khiry Wallace were close behind with 11 apiece.

Darien Cone poured in 22 points for Tattnall County.