JACKSON COUNTY’S downtime after a 41-35 setback to Elbert County Jan. 7 has been more drawn-out than expected.
Due to a scheduling quirk and a snow-out, the Lady Panthers (11-7, 3-2) haven’t played since that tough loss to the Lady Blue Devils and won’t return to the court until Friday when they face North Oconee.
Jackson County’s Jan. 11 game with East Jackson was cancelled due to ice, and with no games this past weekend and the team not playing Tuesday night (the boys played but no girls game was scheduled), the Lady Panthers’ Friday road game with North Oconee will be their first contest in 14 days.
A problem? Not as bad as one might think.
During that time, four to six inches of snow blanketed the area. So while other schools are scrambling to make up multiple games, Jackson County just has to find a replacement date for East Jackson.
“So it actually kind of works to our advantage,” coach John Hawley said. “We don’t have but one game to make up. In that way, it’s been a positive.”
This quasi winter break has also allowed the team to take a longer, in-depth look at what it’s doing.
“We’ve done a lot of breakdown stuff … That was the focus of the last three practices,” Hawley said.
Jackson County held voluntary workouts Thursday and Friday and practiced again Monday morning — all of which were productive, Hawley said.
The hope is that a well-rested, well-focused Jackson County squad will be all the more ready for Friday’s game against North Oconee and the rest of the subregion slate. The Lady Panthers play intra-county rival East Jackson the following night.
“I feel like we haven’t played our best basketball yet,” Hawley said. “I still think we’re capable of playing better basketball.”
As Hawley put it, this team doesn’t have to dig around to find new ways to win or reinvent itself. The template is already there for success.
“It’s just a matter of us believing in ourselves,” he said.
NOTES: The Jackson County boys added the Tuesday game against Dawson County to their schedule because they didn’t play in a Christmas tournament. Jackson County’s girls did. Because of that, the Lady Panthers couldn’t play against Dawson County Tuesday because that would have put them over the regular season limit of 25 games.
Hiring a new coach is like buying a box of chocolate you’re never quite sure of what you have. As I have watched this team I have discovered that they will run a man to man defense and never run any zone defenses. It does not matter that the other team has no out side shooting. It does not matter that the other team will run a wheel offence and one of our small guards will always be matched up in the low post with a larger player. This larger player is happy to use there height to score over our player. If the facts be known there are only 3 players that would not get lost or need help running a man to man defense off this team.
The offence plays above the foul line and most of the scoring comes from individual talent. You will never see a screen set for a driving guard or any low post pick and roll. I hope to see some changes or this team will have another 500 season.
The problem doesn't start with the high school it starts with the rec department. Banks County Rec needs some serious changes. The rec department setup is fine for girls that just want to be part of a team and learn fundamentals, but what about the girls who want to competitive? It is not fair to the ones who want to compete to be placed with girls that are simply there to socialize. Most of the time coaches are teaching fundamentals (catching a pass, dribbling, etc) while the more competitive girls are penalized. At least meet both sets of girls by offering them a chance to learn fundamentals or being more competitive.