• The Lady Jackets’ season ends against Rabun County at home. 

The Rockmart Yellow Jackets boys basketball team is headed into the second round of the playoffs after pulling off an exciting win to keep their season going, and are set to take a road trip to Columbus for the next round this week.

Unfortunately for the Lady Jackets, their season was cut short and came to a close following a hard loss at home in the first round of the Class AA state tournament.

Rockmart split up their home games last weekend to open the state playoffs, with the Lady Jackets on the court first last Friday hosting Rabun County, who went to the state championship game last year against Laney and found themselves runners-up.

The Lady Jackets ended up falling to the Lady Wildcats in a 73-46 loss to finish the season.

The Lady Wildcats held a 42-16 lead at halftime. Rockmart outscored its opponent 20-16 in the third period, but it wasn’t enough to chip away at the deficit.

Rockmart was led by freshman Keyarah Berry’s 24 points, while Rabun County (23-6) was paced by Georgia Stockton’s 35 points.

With the way the Lady Jackets found themselves finishing the season, head coach Tim Puckett hoped it would spur on his team to push harder to do even better when Fall 2018 comes around.

“This is the first time you realize how young we are,” he said. “But I would rather have a young team that has a bitter defeat like this. We’re returning most everyone, and I think it is going to be an exciting year for us next year, and I think these girls will know what it is like, have the experience to take in and learn from their mistakes..”

The Lady Jackets can look back on the season and still smile at their accomplishments, having finished up in second place in the region and getting to host a playoff game with an overall 19-9 record.

Meanwhile, a solid fourth period sealed a win for the Rockmart boys’ basketball team last Saturday as they defeated Putnam County 51-43 in the first round of the Class AA state playoffs.

Playing on their home court at The Rock, the Yellow Jackets trailed 9-8 after the first period but took a 21-19 lead into halftime before outscoring the visiting War Eagles 30-24 in the second half.

Juke Boozer led Rockmart with 24 points and went 6-of-6 at the line in the 18-point fourth quarter for the Yellow Jackets. Teammate Sam Depew added 10 points in the game.

“We didn’t execute as well as I’d like, but we executed enough to win,” said head coach Steve Luke of the team’s effort.

Luke said that even with the win, the Jackets are going to have to work hard this week as they come up against Spencer.

“We have a good shot either way, but we’ve got to be willing to play our roles on the team,” Luke said.

Specific times and dates for the game hadn’t been released at press time over the weekend, but the Jackets will have to travel either Wednesday or Thursday to face off against