In the midst of its region schedule, the Jefferson girls' basketball team took a break from 8-AAAA play and scored a major non-region win.
Jefferson’s Livi Blackstock poured in 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds Tuesday (Jan. 12) as the Class AAAA No. 1-ranked Dragons (10-2) defeated Class AA No. 2-ranked Rabun County 65-62 at home.
Ellie Kinlaw added 16 points, including four 3-pointers, and Deshona Gaither finished with 15 points and six rebounds.
Jefferson went 18-for-25 at the free-throw line in pulling out the win, including going 6-for-8 in the fourth quarter.
Blackstock went 11-for-14 on the night from the foul line.
Jefferson won despite being out-rebounded 48-31 overall and 21-7 on the offensive boards.
The Dragons trailed 36-33 at the half after falling behind 24-14 after a quarter.
Jefferson pulled ahead 51-49 after three quarters. The Dragons fell behind twice briefly in the fourth quarter before taking a 57-54 lead and staying out in front the Wildcats (11-1) the rest of the way.
"I definitely was pleased with how we executed at the end of the game," coach Greg Brown said. "You could tell we had confidence down the stretch and I think that comes from the experience we’ve gained in these close games. Livi, Deshona and Ellie had great nights offensively and we got great effort by everyone in the game. For us to continue to be successful we need everyone to continue to do their job."
Jefferson resumes region play Friday (Jan. 15, 7 p.m.) at North Oconee.
The Dragons then face another marquee non-region matchup as they travel to Class AAAAAA No. 4-ranked Buford Saturday (Jan 16, 4 p.m.). Jefferson fell to Buford 57-54 back on Nov. 24.