WALNUT GROVE — The Jackson County girls’ basketball team got the start it wanted but not the finish.
The Panthers (1-5, 0-2 Region 8-AAAAA) fell 50-43 to region opponent Walnut Grove Tuesday (Dec. 15) on the road after holding leads of 14-2 and 25-12 during the first half.
Kennedy Harris led Jackson County with 19 points, scoring 17 of the Panthers’ 27 first-half points.
Jackson County led 15-8 at the end of the first quarter on the strength of a 14-2 spurt to start the game. Katie Hitt sank a pair of free throws at the 4:11 mark in the second quarter to give Jackson County a 25-12 lead, but Walnut Grove closed the first half with an 10-2 run to trail 27-22 at halftime.
Walnut Grove caught Jackson County at the 5:46 mark in the third quarter with a basket from Bella Delulllo, giving the Warriors a 28-27 lead.
The teams traded leads four times after that, with Walnut Grove going ahead for good with a traditional 3-point play from Dorthy Nealin, putting the Warriors up 35-33 with 1:11 left in the third.
The Warriors led by as many as nine points in the fourth quarter.
Jackson County returns to action Friday (Dec. 18) at region opponent Clarke Central.