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JMA boys take down Tattnall

Jan. 12—The John Milledge boys knocked Tattnall Square Academy from the ranks of the unbeaten inside the Trojan Center Wednesday.

The host Trojans (1-0 region, 6-5 overall) took down the visiting ones (0-1, 11-1) with a flashy first-half performance that eventually led to a 65-45 final score.

It was the second win in a row for the JMA boys. That coming off a stretch of four straight losses, three in a tough pre-Christmas tournament followed by a Jan. 3 losing result at GIAA Class AA power Trinity Christian in Dublin.

Second-year head coach Mitch Risley and the Trojans got back on track Wednesday though, and they did it quickly. Senior guard Jalan Butts, one of the best players in Baldwin County, used good court vision in finding classmates Bud Veal and Isaiah Womble for close looks on back-to-back trips down the court. That followed by a DJ Lundy 3 equaled out to a 9-2 run in three minutes of game time. A double-clutch lay-in by Veal stretched the JMA lead all the way out to 18-4 with half a minute to go in the opening period.

The Trojans' torrid pace continued into the second aided by consecutive and-ones by Womble, a GMC Prep transfer, as he muscled through contact down near the basket. It was a quick six points for the big man who finished with 12 overall and seven rebounds. Up 27-10 early in the second, JMA's Veal got a steal and pushed the ball ahead to the waiting Butts. He sent an around-the-back pass to sophomore Isaiah Johnson who faked like he was going away from the hoop to throw off a defender. Johnson then pivoted back towards the goal for an easy two, extending the home team's lead to 19 and forcing the visitors to call a timeout. That stoppage did nothing to cool John Milledge's hand. Johnson hit back-to-back bombs from beyond the arc then had a contested left-handed take that he converted to make it 39-16 with four minutes still to go before halftime. Johnson ended the night with a team-high 17 points coming off the bench.

The highlights didn't come in droves in the second half, but the host Trojans played plenty well enough to keep Tattnall at bay in the region opener. Butts posted a double-double at 15 points and 10 assists while Veal had 12 points and eight boards to give John Milledge four double-digit scorers in the victory.

The John Milledge boys will be back on their home court Saturday hosting non-region opponent Deerfield-Windsor.