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Social Circle basketball uses defense to pull away from Prince Avenue in crucial region bout
Lamarius Jackson (5) goes up for a highly contested layup in the second half of Social Circle's 54-41 region victory against Prince Avenue at home on Tuesday. - photo by Cassie Jones | The Covington News

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — For the past few seasons, the Social Circle Redskins have relied heavily on their offensive prowess. Tuesday night was all defensive, which led Social Circle to a 54-31 win over the Prince Avenue Wolverines. 

And, while it breaks head coach Taylor Jackson’s offensive heart, he is glad to see the Redskins step up on the other end. 

“We were really packing it in, making it tough to get the ball to No. 5,” Jackson said. “We tried to contest shots as best we could and hope they missed. Then that led us into some transition buckets where the twins are elite in transition.” 

Tuesday’s pivotal moment came in the latter half of the third quarter. 

Trailing 22-15 at the half, Prince Avenue went on a 15-8 run in the first four and a half minutes of the second half. As a result, the score was tied for the first time since the opening moments of the game. 

Jackson proceeded to call a timeout for his team to regroup — and regroup they did. 

In the final minutes of the third quarter, Social Circle’s defense applied more pressure — which resulted in turnovers and missed shots by the Wolverines —  and provided easy buckets on the other end. 

When the third frame closed, the Redskins’ 11-0 run stretched their lead 41-30. 

Social Circle never looked back from that point on. 

“The twins” Jackson referenced are Quin and Lamarius Jackson. 

Lamarius led his team with 24 points with his brother Quin trailing as the No. 2 scorer with 17 points. 

Coach Jackson couldn’t say enough positive things about the twins’ play, not only last night, but all season. 

But there is one major stat that coach Jackson focused on and has concerned him throughout the year. And that is finding a consistent third, fourth and fifth scoring option. 

Dashon Hyman, AJ Vinson, Jameccus Hodge and Justin Russell were three candidates to help fill those roles, but the next step for them, coach Jackson stressed, is consistency. 

“If we can just find a way to get two to three buckets from other guys, guess what, it’s going to be wide open for Lamarius and Quindarius,” Jackson said. “Lamarius and Quindarius are recording their numbers and they’re getting doubled and triple teamed every time they touch the ball. If we can flow more on offense to other guys, we’ll be at our best.” 

Only three other players scored a combined nine points outside of Lamarius and Quin on Tuesday. 

However, the Redskins’ defense provided enough transition points for them to come out on top. 

With the win, Social Circle improves to 14-10 overall and remains undefeated in Region 5A-Division I at 5-0. The Redskins’ season finale is at home versus Oglethorpe County and then it’s region tournament time at their place next week. 

Searching for “extra points” will be the key to winning the region and making another deep run in the state playoffs. 

“For the court to open up, we’re going to have to have threes from other people,” Jackson said. “I know it’s in them. We play three-point shootout everyday in practice and kids will go 5-for-5, but I told the players at halftime, ‘We don't do that just to do it at practice. We do it for when the lights are the brightest, bleachers are full and now I’m ready.’”