Jackson County boys' basketball coach Ty Baumgardner said he’s simply hoping for continued improvement from his team each day as the regular season comes to a close.
Two victories over the weekend were possible signs of that. The Panthers (7-13, 2-8 Region 8-AAA) picked up a pair of lopsided wins, beating Morgan County 55-35 Friday (Jan. 24) and Athens Academy 62-30 Saturday (Jan. 25).
“Yeah, I think it was good for the players,” Baumgardner said, “because it kind of gives some affirmation of that. Again, we’re trying to continue to move forward and improve every day.”
Kalib Clinton was dominant again in the victories, scoring 40 points with 13 rebounds in the Panthers' win over Morgan County and then tallying 33 points and 10 rebounds in the victory over Athens Academy.
In beating Morgan County, Jackson County outscored the Bulldogs 19-8 in the second quarter to take a 24-14 halftime lead and outscored the Panthers 31-21 over the final two quarters.
In the victory over Athens Academy, the Panthers took a commanding 27-13 lead at the half and pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring the Spartans 20-7.
Baumgardner praised the defensive effort in both wins.
“Our defense has been pretty solid all year,” he said. “We’re holding teams to about 48 points per game. It’s just the offensive end. We have a hard time scoring besides one guy.”
Jackson County, which saw its two-game winning streak snapped with a 49-36 loss to East Jackson Tuesday (Jan. 28), will close the season Friday at Jefferson.