IT MIGHT have been an ugly win in the stat books, but certainly not in the subregion standings.
Jackson County (2-8) held off Hart County 41-36 Tuesday to score a huge 8-AA South victory and even its record at 1-1 in the subregion standings.
“Winning tonight, even the way it was, the kids should gain some confidence,” coach John Hawley said. “They were still able to finish off the game and win. They could have very easily just lost the ball game.”
Mason Garland led the Lady Panthers with 10 points, while Danni Cunningham had another huge performance with nine points and 14 boards and was key to Jackson County breaking Hart County’s full court press.
“She’s really come on,” Hawley said. “The thing that she did tonight is that she brought the ball down the floor for us.”
In a nip-and-tuck contest, Jackson County built a 30-20 lead in the third quarter and led 36-28 edge midway through the fourth. The Lady Panthers then withstood Hart County’s run in the final four minutes to earn its first 8-AA South win.
Despite the win, turnovers continue to plague Jackson County.
“That’s the biggest issue right now,” Hawley said. “We’re creating offense for the other team.”
Jackson County had enjoyed an improved performance in a losing effort prior to beating Hart County.
The Lady Panthers lost to Banks County 58-45 Saturday after having been beaten by the Lady Leopards by 32 points in the first meeting between these schools.
Jackson County — who trailed 37-34 after three quarters – tied the game with three minutes left but couldn’t keep pace offensively after that.
“We had about four turnovers in a row,” Hawley said.
Hawley said his team defended much better this time around against Banks County and executed its offense much better — save for the final three minutes.
“The last three or four minutes is what really hurt us,” Hawley said.
Jackson County lost its subregion opener to North Oconee Friday night, 52-41, despite a double-double from Cunningham. The senior post player scored 13 points and collected 16 boards. Victoria Fontana added eight points.
The Lady Panthers fell behind 22-5 after a quarter and weren’t able to recover. Jackson County went into the locker room down 33-16 and trailed 46-24 after three quarters.
“We got off to a bad start offensively and didn’t defend very well tonight (Friday),” Hawley said.
North Oconee, which got 18 points from Ginny Channell, went 7-of-9 from the three-point line.