The East Jackson boys’ basketball team improved to 5-4 after narrowly defeating Banks County 64-63 last Saturday.
After a slow start, the Eagles were trailing 18-3 at the end of the first quarter; however, East Jackson battled back and continuously cut the lead down throughout the remainder of the game.
“Tyree Rakestraw and Tyler Shipp came off the bench and really gave us a spark in the second quarter to get us going,” said Eagle head coach Brian Turner. “Sidney Henderson came in and had his best night as an Eagle including hitting the game-winning free throw with nine seconds remaining.”
Casey Reed led the eagles with 18 points, while Henderson had 15.
The win against the Leopards came after a crippling 80-43 loss to Morgan County on Friday.
The Bulldogs overpowered the Eagles, breaking their four-game win streak.
“Morgan is one of the top teams in the state and they showed why,” said Turner. “I thought we played very timid in the first quarter because of their size, and it showed on the scoreboard. I was very proud of the guys for how they battled after the first quarter as we stressed to never back down from an opponent. I felt we did this, but unfortunately we did not do it at the tip.”
The Eagles will host Elbert County on Wednesday, Dec. 19, then travel to Atlanta to play Hebron Christian in Philips Arena on Saturday, Dec. 22.
The Lady Eagles suffered difficult losses to Morgan County and Banks County last week.
Morgan County’s late man-to-man press created several Eagle turnovers, allowing the Bulldogs to pull away in the closing minutes, sealing a hard-fought 60-55 victory against East Jackson on Friday.
“Morgan was a battle,” said Eagle head coach Matt Gibbs. “We had a comfortable lead with under three minutes to go when (Kelsey) Palette fouled out. We also were limited in ball handling as our starting guard Madison Wuertley was out with the flu.”
Kayla Thomas led the Eagles offensive effort, racking up 24 points.
The Eagles traveled to Banks County on Saturday, where the Leopards thwarted them, 50-28.
Wuertley and Kristin Whitlock were both out with the flu, leaving the Eagles with limited personnel.
East Jackson was able to cut the lead to seven in the fourth quarter, but eventually ran out of gas as the Leopards pulled away.
Palette led the scoring effort with 10 points.
“I was proud of our girls to respond the very next night after a hard-fought loss with limited numbers,” said Gibbs. “The two games were very tough defeats. I am confident in the resiliency of my girls, and am certain we will respond with strong performances.”
EJCHS will host Elbert County on Wednesday, Dec. 19, then travel to Atlanta to play Hebron Christian in Philips Arena on Saturday, Dec. 22.