PANTHER coach Britt Beaver liked what he saw both on the court and in the scorebook Tuesday in Jackson County’s 53-43 win over Oconee County.
Jared Scott, Kevin Lineburger and Nick Corso all scored 10 points for the Panthers (2-3) while Kolin Zimmer added nine and Richie Rodriguez finished with eight.
“They’re starting to really play together as you can tell with almost five guys in double figures,” Beaver said. “I was really proud. I love looking at the scorebook and seeing that evened-out scoring.”
Xavier Harper added five points.
Jackson County led 24-15 at the half and 34-27 after three quarters.
Beaver said the balanced offensive attack was key in Tuesday night’s win.
“You get six guys who can score and you beat Oconee by 10 with Zimmer only having nine, I felt really good about us,” Beaver said. “I was really proud of the kids. They played really hard.”
Prior to beating Oconee County, Jackson County dropped both its games in the Titans Turkey Classic at North Oconee, though the Panthers acquitted themselves better in Saturday’s contest than Friday’s.
Jackson County (1-3) fell to North Oconee 69-66 in game two, a contest determined by the charity stripe. Unfortunately for the Panthers, the Titans were spot-on, hitting 23-of-29 attempts.
“When it’s a close game like that, it’s going to come down to free throws,” Beaver said.
Zimmer led Jackson County with 18 points, including four three pointers. Post players Scott and Reno Messler both added 10 points (Messler was 4-for-4 from the free throw line). Kevin Lineburger, another post player, finished with seven points.
“We’re going to start to look to them more,” Beaver said.
This was a nip-and-tuck contest between these two subregion foes. The contest was tied at 33 at the half, and the Panthers led 53-49 after three quarters.
Jackson County was coming off a 62-34 loss to Habersham Central the previous night.
“I’m proud of the way we rebounded (from the loss) but I hate it that we lost that game to North Oconee,” Beaver said.
As for the Habersham Central game, Jackson County led until the 2:40 mark in the second quarter, when the Raiders embarked on a 14-2 run to end the half to take a 24-15 edge. Habersham Central, which feasted off Panther turnovers, then went on a 15-2 run to start the third period to turn the game into a rout.
Jackson County turned the ball over 30 times. Beaver pointed out that this is still a young team learning how to play together.
“It’s just going to take games at that level before you start correcting things,” Beaver said.