EAST JACKSON is still searching for its first win but may have found its offense.
Three Lady Eagles scored in double figures Tuesday in a 59-50 loss to Apalachee.
“We shot the ball really well,” coach Katie David said. “The progress (we made) from last Tuesday ... we executed so much better.”
Taylor Patrick scored 14 points, while Kesley Palette added 12 and Madison Wuertley finished with 10 in the team’s second road test in as many games. Madison Mealor also had a solid night with nine points.
East Jackson trailed Apalachee by 10 at the end of the third quarter, but rallied with a 14-5 run, capped with a bucket from Palette with 2:47 left in the game. The Lady Wildcats, however, hit eight of 10 free throws down the stretch to nail down the win.
“Of course, it’s a loss,” David said. “Nobody likes that, especially as a coach. It kills you. But to know how much better they played in a week, it’s enough to be happy.”
East Jackson was coming off a 41-30 loss to Hebron Christian last Tuesday on the road in its season-opener.
The Lady Eagles (0-1) struggled in the first 16 minutes, trailing 20-5 at the half, but outscored Hebron 10-6 in the third quarter. East Jackson, which began forcing turnovers in the second half, opened the fourth quarter with a 9-3 run to cut Hebron’s lead to 29-24 with 4:39 left in the game.
“We played a little timid in the first half,” David said. “It literally looked like two different teams as far as aggressiveness or winning the basketball in the open court.”
East Jackson remained within striking distance late as Taylor Patrick’s free throws at the 1:25 mark made it a two-possession game at 35-29. Hebron, however, converted six free throw attempts in the final 48 seconds to salt away the victory.
Despite the loss, East Jackson forced 14 turnovers in the fourth quarter, which is something upon which the Lady Eagles can build.
“I’m telling you, it is the intensity,” she said. “We didn’t have any different talent coming out after them. We didn’t get any bigger. We didn’t get any faster in the second half. We just took a little bit more responsibility and pride into what we were doing.”
Offensively, Wuertley led East Jackson with seven points. Sam Minish and Patrick each added six.