First-year East Jackson boys’ coach Jarvis Smith was eager to get his debut over with so his Eagles could get rolling with the rest of the season. Smith’s players obliged, making quick work of their opening-night opponent.
With 11 players getting in the scorebook, East Jackson coasted to a 78-32 home win over Oglethorpe County Tuesday.
“All day long, I couldn’t wait until this one was over with,” Smith said. “I just wanted to get that first one. We played Stephens (County) (in a scrimmage) last week, but we didn’t have everybody. We were on the road. I really wanted to get this first game here out of the way so we can get going and get into a routine.”
Makayl Rakestraw led the Eagles (1-0) with 18 points. R.J. White added 15 points, and Randy Smith finished with 10 points.
All 12 players who dressed out for the Eagles played.
“We dressed 12, and everybody had an opportunity to play tonight in this type of game,” Smith said. “The biggest thing is we want to use our numbers with the type of style we want to play. We’re going to have to be able to play eight, 10 guys each night.”
Sparked by 16 points from Rakestraw in the first quarter, East Jackson separated itself from Oglethorpe County early with a 35-8 lead after a quarter.
“We got off to a quick start,” Smith said. “The guys shot it well. Makayl shot it extremely well, and got us going, (as did) Jimmie (Jackson) and also Kedrick Carson. Those guys got going early and put the ball in the hole for us early.”
The Eagles reached the 50-point mark with 3:09 still left in the first half when Rakestraw scored his final basket of the night.
East Jackson carried a 59-18 lead into the halftime locker room. The final two quarters were shortened to six minutes due to the Eagles’ large lead.
“We defended OK,” Smith said when asked about holding the Patriots below 20 points in the first half. “I know their program. Coach Chris (Schakelford) is trying to get it going. So, it’s an up-and-coming program … It’s a really young team.”
The Eagles’ lead swelled to over 50 in the third quarter when White knocked down a pair of 3-pointers, Jay Watson added a basket and David Wolfe sank a pair of free throws to put the Eagles ahead 71-19 at the 1:18 mark.
East Jackson moves on to a Friday road test at Cherokee Bluff, a second-year program led by veteran coach Benjie Wood, who has over 400 career wins.
“Good road test early,” Smith said. “Coach Benjie Wood is doing a really good job coming from Gainesville to where he has Cherokee Bluff now. We actually mixed it up with them a little bit this summer, so we had an opportunity to see them a little bit this summer. So, it will be a good test for us.”