By CHARLES PHELPS
After jumping out to 13-3 lead early in the second quarter, the Panthers’ offense was clicking on all cylinders but, the second half became a different story.
East Jackson High School defeated Jackson County Comprehensive High School last Friday night at JCCHS.
The Eagles’ attack was led by Jarron Davis who dropped four 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 19 points. Devonte Tuggle added nine and was 5 of 6 from the free-throw line.
The Eagles’ defense made stops late in the second quarter to give the offense a shot after a poor start in the first quarter. The Eagles outscored the Panthers 11-3 to finish the first half. Then, the Eagles outscored the Panthers 35-12 in the second half. The Panthers fast start wasn’t a surprise to the Eagles, according to Head Coach Brian Turner.
“I was actually expecting the start we had tonight,” Turner said. “Our defense kept us in it. We’ve got some kids that can score and we finally started scoring in the second half; once we started scoring, we (were) good then.”
The Panthers finished with four players at six points apiece: Xavier Harper, Chase Dunlap, Layson Giles and Andrew Fogarty. Giles scored all of his six points in the first half. Panthers’ Head Coach Britt Beaver summed [up the game] as missed opportunities by his team, but capitalization by the Eagles’.
“We weren’t shooting it real well. [We] didn’t hit free throws. We’ve shot free throws well this year, [but they] didn’t fall tonight,” Beaver said. “We didn’t rebound the ball as well as we could have. The kids played hard, but we just got away from what we needed to do to win the game at the end.”
The Panthers as a team were 6 of 21 from the free-throw line. The Eagles were 11 of 19 from the line. In regards to East Jackson’s free throw shooting, Beaver said, “They shoot it really well. They’ve shot it really well this year.”
Davis scored seven of his 19 points in the first half, including two of his four 3-pointers. His third 3-pointer gave the Eagles their first lead of the game early in the third quarter; it was a lead they never gave back.