A lively home atmosphere and a fast start added up to the Jackson County boys' basketball team's first win under new head coach Ty Baumgardner.
Outscoring Stephens County 21-7 in the first quarter, the Panthers (1-2) rolled to a 55-45 home win Friday (Nov. 22) over Stephens County.
"The home opener, we had a really nice crowd, a great student section, so that helped, too," Baumgardner said. "We kind of fed off that. I thought we played with great energy."
The Panthers were able to capitalize on turnovers and missed shots from Stephens County early, generating momentum.
"We were able to convert," Baumgardner said.
Kalib Clinton led Jackson County with 28 points and 15 rebounds.
Clinton is averaging 27 points per game through the first three contests as the junior is nearing 1,000 career points.
The Panthers' victory followed a pair of close losses to start the season — 44-40 to North Hall (Nov. 14) and 58-51 to West Hall (Nov. 19).
"We're getting better," Baumgardner said. "That's all I can ask. From Game 1 to Game 2 we got a little bit better, and from Game 2 to Game 3 we got a little better."
Jackson County won't return to action until Tuesday (Dec. 3) at 7:30 p.m. at home against region opponent Hart County. The Panthers are not playing in a Thanksgiving tournament.
"Which is strange for me," Baumgardner said. "That's never happened anywhere I've been ... This is the schedule I inherited and so we'll roll with it. It ain't a bad thing. It gives us time to practice, which we need."