JACKSON COUNTY beat Banks County twice this year, but the Leopards won the one that mattered most.
Banks County prevailed 64-51 Tuesday in the region tournament, ending what’s been a turnaround season for Jackson County (11-13) in many respects.
“Hats off to Banks County,” coach Britt Beaver said, “They came in and wanted it a little more than we did.”
The Panthers rebounded from an 0-4 start to win 11 contests this year — the first time the program has enjoyed at least 10 wins in a season in a decade — but entered the region tournament on the heels of a loss to Jefferson.
In that loss, the Panthers suffered through second and third quarter slumps and the same thing happened Tuesday. Jackson County played well in the first quarter, leading 17-10, but hit second and third quarter lulls as it was out-scored 40-20 that span.
“We just kind of got away from what we do offensively,” Beaver said.
Jarvis Shaw led Jackson County with 15 points, and Alex Crawford and Nick Oney each added 12.
Though the season ended on a sour note, there is much to be remembered from the year — especially for the seniors that helped bring the Panther basketball program back to respectability. “We did some good things that we’re proud of,” Beaver said.