MINUS one of their top scorers, the Jackson County girls (7-12, 4-2) still rolled to a 43-28 win over rival East Jackson Saturday at home to move into a three-way tie for second place in 8-AA South.
“The girls played really hard tonight (Saturday) and had two great defensive quarters in the second and third,” coach John Hawley said. “The team stepped up tonight (Saturday) with (Victoria) Fontana out.”
Danni Cunningham posted another double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds to lead Jackson County. Katie Phillips had a big night under the boards with 11 rebounds to go with five points and three steals. Others chipping in were Savannah Roncadori (nine points) and Mason Garland (eight points, three steals).
“Danni took over in my opinion by keeping their scoring opportunities alive as well as attacking the basket on their end,” East Jackson coach Katie David said. “We must get a lot more physical to win subregion games.”
Jackson County led 21-15 at the break but enjoyed a big third quarter — outscoring East Jackson 14-4 — to extend the lead to 35-19 heading into the fourth.
“We still need to relax and finish in the paint and play with a little more mental toughness with a lead,” Hawley said. “Really proud of what these young ladies have accomplished thus far.”
David pointed to the differences between the first and second halves.
“We beat ourselves in the first half and didn’t take advantage of easy buckets and scoring opportunities,” she said. “The second half they were much more physical and dominated us on the boards.”
Kelsey Palette led East Jackson with eight points. Taylor Patrick added seven.