STRICKLAND

Jackson County's Ben Strickland goes up for the ball in the Panthers' 59-41 loss to Eastside Saturday (Jan. 9). 

Jackson County, playing without standout Kalib Clinton, managed to keep a Saturday (Jan. 9) home contest close for about a half before succumbing to the Eagles’ balanced scoring attack in a 59-41 region loss.

Riley Baugh, who hit four 3-pointers, paced the Panthers (6-5, 1-5 Region 8-AAAAA) with 12 points while Eastside was led by the trio of Jaylen Woods (11 points), Jaylen Johnson (10 points) and Trebor Edwards (10 points). J. Jacquez Williams added nine points.

Bryce Blake added nine points Panthers, while Max Brown chipped in eight points.

Jackson County only trailed 23-19 when Baugh sank a 3-pointer with 2:33 left in the first half. But the Eagles scored the final three baskets of the first half, including a fast-break layup from Williams before the halftime buzzer to take a 29-19 lead into the locker room.

A 3-pointer from Woods and two more Eastside layups pushed the lead to 36-19 and forced Jackson County to call an early time out in the third quarter. Kedric Zimmer stopped a 13-0 Eagle run — which spanned parts of the second and third quarters — with a 3-pointer at the 4:47 mark in the third period, but Panthers never came closer than 11 points the rest of the way.

Eastside took a 47-27 lead early in the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer from Williams. The Eagles led 56-35 — their largest advantage of the afternoon — with 3-pointer from Saabir Berrien with 3:24 left in the game.

Jackson County hosts Apalachee Tuesday (Jan. 12, 7:30 p.m.) as region play continues.

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