Turner punches ticket, Defeats Claxton 70-60

Ashburn – The Turner County Rebels opened state tournament play Saturday afternoon at the Ronalda Pierce Civic Center in Ashburn. They welcomed the Claxton Tigers to town. It was the second consecutive season the two teams have met in the first round. Last year, Turner County defeated Claxton 74-54 en route to an appearance in the state championship game.

Mikevion Hall drives for a layup in the first half against Claxton. Photo: Jessica peters/SGSN

Mikevion Hall drives for a layup in the first half against Claxton. Photo: Jessica peters/SGSN

Claxton, who plays in Region 3, came in with an overall record of 16-9 and they came to play in Ashburn. The visitors held a 30-29 lead at the half over a stunned Rebel team. It was the first time since January 20 when they trailed at Telfair County that they had trailed in a game at halftime.

The Rebels made a run in the third quarter. Spearheaded by three Quan Hillmon three pointers, the Rebels turned that one point deficit into a six point lead after three quarters. The Tigers weren’t done. They quickly made a 13-4 run to take a three point lead. But some clutch defense and fast break opportunities led to some easy baskets for the Rebels as the pulled away late for the 70-60 victory.

Leading the way for the victorious Rebels was Shaquille Baldwin, who finished with 21 points. Tamarrion Terry had a monster game as he finished with 18 points and 23 rebounds. Hillmon also finished in double figures with 14 points.

With the victory, the Rebels (25-3) will advance to the quarterfinals and travel to Soperton to take on the Treutlen Vikings. The Vikings are 26-1 with their lone loss coming in Ashburn during the MLK Classic last month in a game against Calhoun County.

The game will be Wednesday night in Soperton with a berth in the semifinals in Savannah on the line.

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