Jackson County’s Kalib Clinton produced 26 points, 12 rebounds and an incredible 13 blocked shots in a career night, yet the Panthers got past the finish line without him.
Jackson County pulled out a 67-58 overtime win over visiting East Hall Tuesday (Dec. 1) after Clinton fouled out with a triple-double with 2:12 left in regulation.
"Kalib didn't play much of the fourth quarter because of foul trouble, and I was very pleased with how our team stepped up and finished the fourth quarter and overtime," coach Bryan Parker said. "We could have easily folded once he was out, but we didn't. I challenged our guys at half time to step up and play with passion, and they did."
Clinton, a Charleston Southern signee, managed a rare triple-double combination with his 13 blocks to go with his 26 points and 12 rebounds.
"Kalib’s triple-double was very impressive," Parker said. "He is an exceptional talent that can do a little bit of everything on the court. The even crazier statistic may be that he did all of that within only three quarters."
Senior transfer Max Brown added 12 points in the victory, including a layup in the closing seconds of regulation to tie the game 53-53 and force overtime.
The season opening win gave first-year Panther head coach Bryan Parker his first career coaching victory.
"As far as my first 'coaching win,' it feels great," Parker said. "But, as I told my guys (Tuesday) night after the game, this was not 'my' first win. This was 'our' first win. I love all of my players, and we are family, so all the credit goes to them.
Clinton dunked five times in the first half and had 18 points by halftime, though the Panthers trailed 32-27.
Jackson County received an early second-half spark from Elijah Bowers, who knocked down two 3-pointers in the opening minute and a half to pull the Panthers within point, 34-33. Trentyn Flowers later gave Jackson County a 40-39 lead with a short jumper with 1:13 left in the third quarter. A put back from Clinton pushed the lead to 44-41 at the end of the quarter.
Clinton went to the bench with 2:12 left, having fouled out, with the Panthers trailing 51-49.
Brown’s layup with four seconds left knotted the game at 53-53. Jackson County reeled off the first seven points of overtime to close out the win.
The Panthers return to action Friday (Dec. 4, 7 p.m.) at Westminster.
•EAST HALL 72, JACKSON CO. (GIRLS) 26: East Hall hit seven first-quarter 3-pointers and scored the first 26 points of the game in a 46-point win over the Jackson County girls. The Panthers (1-2) trailed 37-1 at one point in the second quarter and went into halftime down 46-14 at the half.
Kennedy Harris led Jackson County with six points. The Panthers return to action Monday (Dec. 7, 6 p.m.) at Athens Academy.