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Jackson gets the leg up in the Frontier Athletic Conference standings improving to 2-0 after handing McClain its first loss on the season, 31-28.
“We won’t play a more tough team than McClain. Hats off to them because they’re well coached and those kids are physical” Max Morrow told Litter Media after the game. “We were down and we fought back… no one in this game was gonna get a big lead” said Morrow.
It was the fourth consecutive road game for McClain who entered the contest 3-0. The Tigers worked the inside game to reach the charity stripe early, sinking 5-of-6 free throws with a pair of field goals for an early 9-5 lead through the first period.
The second quarter was different. In fact, the fourth followed suit as McClain managed just four points in each. Jackson would take advantage.
In the second quarter, Jacob Winters was strong in the paint hitting three field goals to pull the Ironmen within three points. Meanwhile, the Tigers managed just two buckets, one each by Kendall Toney and Wesley Potts.
Before the half, Boston Campbell dropped in a couple of free throws and to give Jackson a 14-13 entering the intermission. The Tigers had gone empty five of their last six possessions to close out the period.
The two fought through a see-saw third with McClain regaining the lead 24-23. But as in the second, the Tigers had difficulty finding the basket in the 4th quarter.
The two clubs exchanged leads five times in the fourth with McClain going ahead 24-21 on a spin and shot by Bryson Badgley. Jackson closed the gap from the stripe, with Campbell knotting the score at 26. The sophomore guard drained the net from the corner on an assist by Holden Blankenship to send the Ironmen ahead 29-26. Tristan Prater and Winters combined for for two free throws to secure the lead and wouldn’t yield to the Tigers.
McClain was scoreless the final 5:29 following a bucket by Potts.
“Both teams shot the ball terribly, but both teams knew what the other was doing offensively” said Morrow.
The stat Joe Stewart had an issue with was his team’s 18 turnovers. “The fact is, we just didn’t get it off the defensive boards that we needed to.” The Tigers were patient offensively, but simply had trouble finding the bottom of the basket to get what they needed.
“We’re quite a bit better than we were a week ago in regard to patience in the offense, working for something good” said Stewart. “They contested everything, we just didn’t have enough answers on that end of the floor. The errors with the ball… We have nine offensive rebounds in the second half, if we just get some more shots, then we’ll have extra opportunities.”
Campbell led all scorers with 10 points for Jackson and was selected the McDonald’s Player of the Game. Badgley paced McClain with 9 points and had to sit for most of the fourth quarter after picking up a fourth foul inside 60 seconds of the period
Jackson plays Athens Saturday night and McClain will host Miami Trace in their home opener on Tuesday.
JACKSON (31): Boston Campbell 10, Jacob Winters 7, Tristan Prater 7, Nate Woodard 6, Evan Jarvis 1.
MCCLAIN (28): Bryson Badgley 9, Braden Wright 6, Kendall Toney 5, Wesley Potts 4, Seth Wise 2, Preston Saunders 2.
Other FAC Games:
Chillicothe 54, Miami Trace 48 (OT)
Washington 58, Hillsboro 51