Free throw opportunities — or lack thereof — doomed East Jackson in a Monday night upset bid of Dawson County in the first round of the Region 8-AA boys’ basketball tournament.
Dawson County (20-6) hit 24-of-29 attempts at the charity stripe in beating the Eagles (7-20) 58-45. East Jackson shot just six free throws.
“I am extremely proud of our kids, as there were many occasions we could have quit but they kept working until the end,” East Jackson coach Brian Turner said. “We made a couple of mistakes that gave them some momentum and they enjoyed a tremendous advantage from the free throw line … Give them credit for taking advantage of the opportunities, but again I am extremely proud of our players.”
Nathan Crumley led the Eagles with 11 points, and Casey Reed added nine for East Jackson, which beat Oglethorpe County Saturday in the region play-in game to earn a spot in the 8-AA tournament.
“I know the wins and losses do not look good but we gained some valuable experience and we will start working on getting better for next season,” Turner said.
This was the final game for seniors Jake Grindle and John Heu.
“I would like to thank our two seniors Jake Grindle and John Heu for their hard work over the past four years and the leadership they gave our young players this season,” Turner said.
REGION PLAY-IN GAME
•EAST JACKSON (BOYS) 57, OGLETHORPE CO. 45: Three East Jackson players reached double figures as the Eagles beat Oglethorpe County Saturday in the region play-in game.
Casey Reed paced the Eagles with 15, Nathan Crumley added 14 and Jarron Davis finished with 10.
“We played extremely well in the second half, and our defense helped us get some easy points in transitions,” Turner said.
The Eagles were able close out the win by hitting 14-of-17 free throws down the stretch.
“Our bench also came up with a very strong effort defensively which really gave our entire team a boost,” Turner said.