BOYS BASKETBALL: Dragons beat North Oconee convincingly | JHS Sports

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JEFFERSON — Jefferson Boys Basketball is undefeated after one round of regional play following a 20-point victory over North Oconee on Friday (Jan. 14) at home.

The Dragons used a 21-4 run in the first quarter to claim a 61-41 win over the Titans. JT Fulkrod drained four 3-pointers in the first quarter en route to an 18-point night. Riley Holliman, who has been on a roll lately, scored seven points in the first quarter and finished with nine.

“I think we did a great job setting up JT early,” head coach Kevin Morris said. “Get him those looks early and give us that lead. Dalen did one, Riley did one earlier. It was on at that time.

“Riley is such a great leader. He is the definition of a playmaker. He doesn’t care if he scores…. Riley does such a good job handling the ball and getting us into our attack. He doesn’t get enough credit to do what he can do.

North Oconee scored immediately after receiving the opening warning, but that’s as good as the night would get for the Titans. Fulkrod responded with a three-pointer and Jefferson (16-1, 6-0 Region 8-AAAA) never gave up the lead. Holliman followed Fulkrod with his own three and the run went from there.

When Fulkrod dropped his last two three-pointers of the first quarter, Jefferson had built a 21-6 lead. The Dragons led 24-11 at the end of the quarter and 37-20 before halftime.

The Titans kept Jefferson from getting away throughout the second half and trailed 51-38 after dumping a three-pointer midway through the fourth quarter. The Dragons responded with a 10-1 run to put the game away. Jefferson went on to win comfortably 61-41.

“I thought it was one of our best defensive performances,” Morris said. “Overall, for [North Oconee] Jake Chandler really shoots the ball at a very high level. He made a three-pointer tonight. [Brodie Scott] he can really put the ball on the ground and get past people. We caused him some rough trouble by charging him.

“We were able to send the ball to Kadin once he made a few fouls and had a little foul problem. I think he kind of backed off some of his defensive aggression there. I think we were able to take advantage of it. Overall, I’m really happy with the way we played.

Jefferson enters the second half of regional play as the hottest team on the table, but their next opponent is the second hottest team. Madison County (15-2, 5-1 Region 8-AAAA) has been undefeated since its season opener against Jefferson on Dec. 10.

“They’re playing really strong, Bryan Bird has done a really good job with those guys,” he said. “I’m pretty happy that we’re leaving the area with them. They are good and they are very young. They start two sophomores and one freshman.

“It will always be a difficult environment to play in there. They will be boxed up on Tuesday and lit, ready to go for sure.

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