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Thursday May 26th, 2016 5:00AM

Class AA playoffs: Second half surge carries Dragons into Elite 8

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter
JEFFERSON -- The Jefferson boys used a huge second half to pull away from Manchester and take an 80-62 win Tuesday in the second round of the Class AA playoffs.

The Dragons (25-5) outscored Manchester 45-27 in the second half after the two teams were tied at 35 at halftime.

Jefferson coach Boling DuBose said his team picked the best time to play one of its best games of the season.

"It may have been the best we've played so far. But, we can still play better," DuBose said. "We have a tough draw and they have stepped up in both games in the playoffs with real good efforts."

Things will get vastly tougher Thursday as the Dragons will play host to defending Class AA state champion Greater Atlanta Christian, which features arguably the state's best player in any classification in 6-foot-7 senior Isaiah Wilkins.

Tip-off has yet to be determined.

"They are so big and play a tremendous trapping press,"DuBose said of GAC. "It will be our toughest game so far, no doubt. But we'll be ready. Hopefully we can get another big crowd to help us out."

Against Manchester, the game turned in the waning moments of the third quarter with the Dragons clinging to a six-point lead. Satchel Turpin would slam home a thunderous dunk, which was followed moments later by a Jefferson steal and layup for a 57-47 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Dragons put the game away at the free throw line hitting 13-of-20 down the stretch.

Tay Taylor paced Jefferson with 25 points, 21 coming in the second half. Turpin finished with 14 points and sophomore Hunter Thompson came off the bench to pour in 12 points for the Dragons.
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