By Chris Hamby, Correspondent
In probably what was one of East Jackson’s best games of the year, Hart County escaped with a 68-64 victory on Friday over the Eagles in a highly contested game.
It took a while for the Eagles to heat up as Hart County closed out the first quarter with a 20 - 13 lead. From then on it was a heavyweight fight as both teams traded basket-for-basket.
In the third quarter, the Eagles outscored Hart County 20-14 to cut the lead to five, trailing 52 - 47 heading into the final quarter.
Similar to East Jackson’s loss three days earlier against Franklin County, the Eagles managed to get close but once again couldn’t get over the hump and put the game away.
East Jackson was set to play at Monroe Area on Tuesday (Jan. 24) and will face Morgan County on the road on Friday (Jan. 27).
•FRANKLIN CO. 63, EAST JACKSON 48 (JAN. 17): If one wasn’t at last Tuesday night’s game, the Eagles’ 63 - 48 loss to Franklin County would appear to be a blowout. But East Jackson only trailed by six with five and a half minutes to play in the loss. That was the kind of night it was for the Eagles as Franklin County was able to pull away for the 15-point victory.
It was a tight, physical game throughout the night as for three-and-a-half quarters both teams swapped momentum back and forth like Christmas presents. Although for most of the game East Jackson kept it close, the Eagles were never able to take advantage of several opportunities to take the lead and put the game away.
The biggest issue David Akin said in the loss was the Eagles didn’t value the ball, box out and communicate on defense especially down the stretch. Kobe Hailey came out on the Eagles’ first possession and nailed a 3-pointer that gave East Jackson its only lead of the night. After that Franklin County used its size and muscle inside to overpower the Eagles the rest of the night.
Hart County pulls away from Lady Eagles
A slow start put East Jackson in an early hole against Hart County and the Lady Eagles never recovered in a 70-45 loss.
The Lady Eagles trailed 21-4 after the first quarter and 36-15 at the half.
Ashley Lumpkin and Faith Grooms combined for all but seven of East Jackson’s points.
Lumpkin finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and one steal. Grooms tallied 19 points, two assists and a steal.
East Jackson, which played Monroe Area on Tuesday (Jan. 24), will face Morgan County on the road on Friday (Jan. 27).
•FRANKLIN CO. 77, EAST JACKSON 40 (JAN. 17): Franklin County came in as the No. 5-ranked team in Class AAA and played like it in rolling to a 77-40 win over the Lady Eagles last Tuesday.
The game was over before it ever really got started as East Jackson had no answer for the Lady Lions’ as they flexed their muscle inside and beyond the arc.
Coach Matt Gibbs said during lopsided games that “you just have to keep playing hard and not give up.”
Grooms led East Jackson with 19 points, two rebounds and a block. Abbie Howington added nine points.
East Jackson’s Miles Addington drives to the hoop in a recent game. Photo by Ben Munro
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