But Hapeville couldn’t keep its opponent’s trend intact, falling short 69-50 to the Jaguars, who were led by Keymont Jenkins (27 points) and Ryan Edwards (17).
“New Manchester didn’t do anything special,” Hapeville coach Carl Green said. “We just did a lot of silly stuff, turning the ball over consistently, not finishing when they turned the ball over. That hurt.”
Joseph Ross scored 12 points and made four steals for the Hornets, and Jerron Strong added 11 points and Frankie Robinson finished with nine.
“We still could’ve beaten this team,” Green said. “We just came out so flat. We are still trying to work together as a team. We are missing the whole concept of team basketball. They don’t know what it takes to win and that is what we are still trying to find — that toughness.”
Even though New Manchester defeated Chapel Hill in its previous game, the Jaguars had never strung together consecutive wins this season. But Jenkins put an end to that in the second and third quarters against Hapeville when he did most of his damage.
The senior scored 11 points in the second period and nine in the decisive third. Jenkins triggered the 17-3 third-quarter run with a basket and capped the surge with a 3-pointer and a two-handed dunk on a fast break.
“He was slipping to the basket,” Green said. “The rotation of our defense was terrible. He just dove to the basket every time. Once, we broke down defensively with reaching and missed opportunities for loose balls, he was just around the basket a whole lot. That made him very effective.”
In the fourth quarter, the Hornets applied pressure all over the court but only outscored the Jaguars 18-16 in the frame.
Strong made all three of the Hornets’ 12 3-point attempts and Datraun Poole (five points) grabbed seven rebounds. Hapeville briefly held the lead in the first quarter but trailed by six at the end of the frame and five at the break.
“Of course, we wanted to win to get to the semifinals but this is all in preparation for our region,” Green said.
On Jan. 8, Hapeville Charter is scheduled to begin Region 6-AA competition at home against Greater Atlanta Christian.