The East Jackson boys’ basketball team was handed a lopsided loss in its region opener by a hot-shooting Oconee County squad.
The visiting Warriors (11-2) knocked down 13 3-pointers, including eight in the first half, in defeating the Eagles 78-45.
R.J. White led East Jackson (3-3, 0-1 Region 8-AAA) with 22 points. He was the lone Eagle to reach double figures.
The game was close until the second quarter. The Eagles trailed just 20-15 after the first period, but Oconee County's Jack Lonnee hit 3 3-pointers during the second quarter, including one at the 5:05 mark to put the Warriors up 31-18 and force an East Jackson time out. A 3-pointer later from Amorie Birston increased the lead to 36-18.
The Warriors led by 18 points two other times in the second quarter before East Jackson’s Markel Jarrells sank a buzzer-beating 3-pointer before halftime. The Eagles trailed 41-26 at the break.
The Warriors continued their sharp-shooting during the third quarter, highlighted by Zach Oechsle, who scored 10 of his 22 points on the night during the period. His 3-pointer at the 1:00 mark put Oconee County up 58-30. Oechsle finished with five 3-pointers.
Oconee County hit its final 3-pointer with 2:58 in the fourth quarter — a trey from Lonnee — to increase the lead to 74-43. Lonnee finished with 18 points.
East Jackson will continue its region schedule next Friday (Jan. 15, 8:30 p.m.) at home against Hart County.