Jackson County (1-2) got 22 points from Ashley Skelton Tuesday, but the Lady Panthers suffered their second loss of the season in 52-49 setback against Rabun County.
The Lady Panthers got the ball back down three with seven seconds left but couldn’t force overtime.
“We’re working and doing some good things, and we’re just right there on the bubble of making success out of a lot of things we’re doing,” new coach John Hawley said.
Emily Elrod and Breanna Drew each added 11 points.
Hawley noted that Jackson County turned in “the best second-half performance we’ve had” despite the loss.
Jackson County returns to the court Nov. 30 at Oconee County at 6 p.m.
Hawley said his team has improved but is still struggling with its consistency.
“Offensively and defensively, we’ve come a long way,” Hawley said. “But we’ve just got to continue to working at through repetition.”
Jackson County secured the first win of the John Hawley era in convincing fashion Monday, beating Johnson 61-41 in a game it led 40-18 at the half.
“It was a good win for us,” said Hawley, who came out of retirement to coach the Lady Panthers. “It was good for the kids. We had a good first half.”
Skelton led Jackson County with 16 points, while Breanna Dew added 10. Savannah Roncadori came off the bench and scored eight.
Hawley notes that freshman Katie Phillips added quality minutes.
The Lady Panthers were able to run out to the large halftime lead by pressing Johnson and forcing the Lady Kinghts into mistakes.
The season began two days earlier on Nov. 20 with a 69-53 loss to Union County on the road.
Union County, which led by a point at halftime, exploded for 27 points in the third quarter to turn a close contest into a comfortable victory’
Skelton led Jackson County (0-1) with 18 points. Drew added 14 and Savannah Roncadori had nine.
Union County led 13-10 after a quarter and 27-26 at the half before burying four three-pointers early in the third quarter to separate themselves from Jackson County. Union County led by 16 heading into the final period.