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Taylor: East Hall girls have talented senior leaders
Jackson, Jenkins looking to take East Hall girls to region title, deep state playoff run
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The East Hall girls basketball team has two players very capable of taking over a game offensively.

It's a good problem to have.

"We're scorers - that's our role," said Lady Vikings' senior guard Jasmine Jenkins who, along with senior forward Morgan Jackson, form a potent 1-2 punch.
"When Morgan's having a bad day I step up, and when I'm having a bad day she steps up."

The two have been playing together for years, including the past four together for East Hall.

As juniors the two led the Lady Vikings to a 6-4 region record and a spot in the state tournament.

Their goals are much bigger than a No. 3 seed and reaching the first round of the playoffs this season.

"Our goal is to get to Macon and of course a region championship is key," Jackson said.

This year they've shared the load, along with rest of the veteran Lady Vikings, and are poised to secure a Region 8-AA North title if they can get a pair of wins this week against the subregion's other top teams, Rabun County on Tuesday and Union County (which handed East Hall its only subregion loss) on Friday.

Both admitted that the team didn't play well in the loss to the Lady Panthers earlier in the year, but a rematch with the Lady Wildcats is the first hurdle.

The last meeting between two of the subregion's elite teams, on Jan. 20 at East Hall, displayed just why beating the Lady Vikings is so hard.

For three quarters, Jackson was the consistent scorer as the Lady Wildcats keyed in on Jenkins.

When Rabun County put added pressure on Jackson, Jenkins took over and scored 13 fourth-quarter points to seal the win. Jenkins finished with 19 points and Jackson 20 in the 56-45 decision.

While the two have stepped it up a notch in their final high school season before heading off to Vanderbilt University (Jenkins) and Georgia State (Jackson), their leadership qualities have always been there.

"We both have that personality of leaders on and off the court," Jenkins said.

They also both know the others scoring strengths on the court.

"Even though she hates it, she's best on the point," Jenkins said of her teammate. "She's long and tall."

If Jackson's looking for the senior guard, she prefers to find Jenkins at the top.

"When she gets the ball at the top," Jackson said. "She can pull up over the defense and hit any mid-range jumper."

The two work very well together, but, if Georgia State and Vanderbilt were to meet on the court in the next few seasons, what then?

"I couldn't imagine playing against you," Jackson said to Jenkins with a laugh.

Jenkins said it would be competitive, "and we both hate losing."

Right now that competitive drive is taking East Hall toward a subregion title and a chance to go deep in the state tournament.

The Lady Vikings, behind their two senior scorers, have already proved their Hall County superiority, going 9-0 against county opponents after last Saturday's win over Gainesville.

The two didn't realize just how dominant they were in county until being told last week, as the two participated in the signing day festivities at the Longstreet Grill in Gainesville.

"Everything in Hall County is rivalry based, so to be undefeated against Hall County teams is a big deal," Jenkins said.

The Lady Vikings have made it through the Hall County rivalries unscathed. Now the two senior leaders will see just how far they can go in their final season as high school teammates.

Zac Taylor is a sportswriter for The Times. Contact him at

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