A SHORTHANDED Jackson County team got even more shorthanded in a 59-47 loss to Stephens County Tuesday night.
With center Reno Messler already sitting out with an ankle ailment, point guard Richie Rodriguez was lost early with an injury while guard Nick Corso also went down with an injury in the fourth quarter.
It all made for a taxing night for the Panthers (3-4), who dropped a game below .500.
“We did not play well,” coach Britt Beaver said.
Jackson County opens subregion play with at North Oconee Friday.
The Panthers were coming off a somewhat helter skelter performance against Banks County Saturday. Jackson County overcame perhaps its worst first half of the year, according to Beaver, to beat the Leopards 51-43.
The Panthers turned the ball over “probably 20 times” during the first two quarters but still managed to lead 17-15 over the Region 8-AA North Leopards.
“I just told them to settle down and do what we do,” Beaver said of his halftime speech.
And settled down the Panthers did, outscoring Banks County 19-8 in the third quarter as they secured their second-straight win.
Jackson County again distributed its scoring evenly, with Jared Scott leading the Panthers with 12 points and 12 boards and three others adding nine (Kolin Zimmer, Nick Corso and Xavier Harper).
Jackson County had a huge night on the boards against a Banks County team that included a 6-7 player on the roster. In addition to Scott’s 12 rebounds, Kevin Lineburger had nine.
“We’re just rebounding the ball so much better this year,” Beaver said.