The Lady Eagles fell short on Friday in a nerve-racking rivalry matchup with Jackson County.
The two teams went neck-and-neck, keeping the score tight the entire game.
The Eagles held a 30-27 lead heading into the fourth quarter, but after a Jackson County layup and free throw by Vic Woods, the Panthers took a one-point lead.
With six seconds remaining, the Eagles drove down the court, but were met with an offensive charging penalty, sealing a 42-41 victory for the Panthers.
Eagle head coach Matt Gibbs noted that the charge call could have gone the other way.
“We played really well,” said Gibbs. “Kelsey Palette had a huge game for us and Hydeia Rucker stepped up with a big performance.”
Palette posted 20 points, while Rucker added 12.
“I was proud of our girls, we eliminated the lulls in scoring and defense that have been holding us back all year,” said Gibbs. “I hope we can build on the multitudes of positives that came from this game.”
The Eagles also suffered a 50-32 loss to Hart County earlier in the week. Kelsey Palette led the scoring with nine points, while Madison Wuertley had eight.
On Jan. 5, the Lady Eagles defeated Tallulah Falls 61-34. Kayla Thomas led scoring with 13 points. Emily Turner added 11, while Hydeia Rucker posted 10.
“We are making strides and getting better, and those strides are going to come to fruition soon I believe,” added Gibbs.
East Jackson fell to Franklin County 55-21 on Tuesday.
The Lady Eagles will host region opponent North Oconee on Friday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m.
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