The East Jackson Lady Eagles continue to look for traction as they move into the heart of their region schedule.

So far, the new year has not been as good as East Jackson had hoped, as the Lady Eagles dropped two last week to Union County and Dawson County.

The Eagles hope to turn things around Friday at Fannin County. Tip-off is at 7:00.

That could prove to be a tall order, as the Lady Rebels hit the court with an 8-6 overall record, and undefeated in the region. East Jackson is 4-9 overall, and winless in the region.

Hosting Union County last week, the Eagles stayed close for a quarter, trailing 9-7, only to see the Lady Panthers extend the lead to 29-17 at the half and 45-31 after three periods before handing the Lady Eagles a 61-44 loss.

Autumn Wilbanks led East Jackson in scoring with 26 points, while Callie Moore had nine and Shelby Johnson had four. Johnson also had nine assists and four steals. Mikki McGinnis had two steals, Moore had nine rebounds, while Johnson had six and Wilbanks had five.

"Autumn has been playing very well lately, having scored 28 versus Carver and 26 against Union County,” said coach Amy Larimer. “She is really stepping up as a leader on both ends of the court, which is what we need her to do."

Next up for the Lady Eagles was a trip to Dawson County on Friday for another region match-up.

The Lady Tigers took control early, moving out to an 11-5 lead by the end of the first quarter. They continued to hold the advantage over the Lady Eagles, moving out to a 21-11 lead by the half.

East Jackson returned to the court after the half looking to redeem itself. The Eagles held the Lady Tigers to only eight points, while they picked up 15 to close the lead down to only a three-point deficit, 29-26 at the end of the third quarter.

But Dawson County answered in the fourth quarter, and moved out to a nine-point lead, winning 44-35.

McGinnis led the Lady Eagles in scoring against Dawson County with eight points, while Wilbanks scored seven and Johnson scored six. Johnson had three assists on the night, while Moore and McGinnis had two apiece. Johnson had three steals while McGinnis had two. McGinnis had eight rebounds, while Caroline Hicks had six and Moore had five.

"We have to take a step back and look at what we really need to work on, which are fundamentals,” Larimer said. “We are going to change the way we practice and prepare and start from the bottom up, building our offensive confidence. I have no doubt that we are going to play hard aggressive defense every game. What we need to focus on are our offensive capabilities."

The Lady Eagles were scheduled to face North Oconee at home on Tuesday. Results were unavailable at press time.

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