A turnover-plagued fourth quarter ended Jackson County’s four game-winning streak and cost it a key subregion contest.
The Lady Panthers (11-7, 3-2) lost to Elbert County 41-35 Friday at home, giving the ball away eight times in the final period in the set back – their first since a Dec. 27 loss to Madison County.
Ashley Skelton goes up for two points Friday in Jackson County's loss to Elbert County.
“We took a step back … We didn’t execute down the stretch,” coach John Hawley said.
Jackson County’s Tuesday game with East Jackson was cancelled due to the recent snowstorm.
No one in Jackson County’s lineup reached double figures as the Lady Panthers finished with their lowest scoring output this season in a subregion game. Ashley Skelton and Bre Drew led the Lady Panthers with eight points, while Katie Phillips and Emily Elrod added seven.
Seeking its fifth win in a row and another subregion victory, Jackson County led Elbert County 21-17 at the half and 31-25 after three quarters.
The Lady Panthers ended the period with a 6-0 run, getting a bucket from Macey Latty and two from Elrod, but managed only one field goal and two free throws in the final period.
Ashley Skelton hit Jackson County’s only shot from the floor in the fourth quarter with a bucket with 4:19 left that ended a 6-0 Elbert County run and put the Lady Panthers ahead 33-31.
Skelton gave Jackson County its last lead – 35-33 -- with a pair of free throws with 2:53 remaining. Jackson County went the remainder of the game without scoring.
“We just get back in that habit of when we don’t think we need all five players on the court,” Hawley said.
With the contest tied at 35, the Lady Panthers committed two of their eight turnovers in the final 45 seconds.
The first turnover led to a foul and an Elbert County free throw that broke the tie. The second led to a Lady Blue Devil layup that put Elbert County ahead 38-35.
“We didn’t get the execution we needed … That’s been plaguing us all year,” Hawley said.
Despite his team’s offensive struggles, Hawley couldn’t fault his team’s effort.
“The kids played really hard … We did the job (Friday) night defensively,” Hawley said.
The coach noted that his team nearly held Elbert County under 40 points.
“You need to be winning those ball games,” Hawley said.