By Don Wallace
Once again it was good news, bad news for Jacksonville College basketball fans.
The Jaguars scored a 66-56 comeback win over Panola College while the Lady Jaguars fell to the Fillies by a final of 85-75 at the Curtis Carroll Field House Saturday afternoon.
Jaguars 66, Ponies 56
The men’s game was a contests of scoring streaks and defensive manuevers. Jacksonville College put the defensive stops on late to out-score the Ponies 21-7 in the final 7:42 seconds.
The Jaguars held the visiting Ponies without a bucket for more than five minutes. The tide turns with Jacksonville College on the short end of a 49-45 score. The Ponies were feeling good as they just took the lead thanks to a stylish 3-pointer by David Burrell.
“We started guarding them closer and we contests all the shots,” Jacksonville College coach Greg Young said. “You have to do those things against Panola. They have a nice team and they are very athletic. We struggled early, but we responded to the challenge.”
Jacksonville College soon erased the deficit using free throws from Marucs Anderson and Deividas Petravicius while Orrin Greer came through with a tip. Panola alled time out at the 4:43 mark after Jacksonville College had take a 57-49 lead. The flurry of points continued for Jacksonville College as Clint Chasteen pumped in a jumper and Pouncy converted a three-point play making a bucket and hitting the free throw after the foul was called. The Jaguars padded the lead to 62-49 following two more free throws by Greer at the 2:27 mark. The Ponies cold streak finally ended with 1:58 left in the game as they got a three-point play of their own. Burrell made a hook while getting fouled and sank the following free throw. Panola was still trailing by a 65-52 score with 1:42 remaining. Panola could not get a streak going and lost by the final of 66-56.
Jacksonville College started the game off on a good note with Royce Gaye taking an alley oop pass for a layup for the first points of the game. The teams traded hoops and with five minutes gone off the opening half clock, the score was tied at 8-all.
The Jaguars made some nice shots to take the lead. Arthur Zulu scored inside, the teammate Pouncy drove the lane for a short range bucket and Greer hit a soft 12-foot jumper. The Jaguars edged ahead 19-15 with 8:17 left in the first half. Jacksonville College got a 3-pointer from the top of the arch to e pand the lead to seven points, 24-17 with five minutes remaining in the first half.
Panola then used turnovers and offensive rebounds to fuel a rally with Chris Williams, Wandji Aboubakar and Don Riley each scoring a bucket. The Ponies cut the lead to 24-23 late in the first half.
Jacksonville College got a late jumper from Pouncy to secure a 26-25 half time lead. The first 13 minutes of the second half belonged to the visitors. Panola out-scored Jacksonville 24 -19.
The Ponies got hot from long distance with three different players draining long range bombs in a two minute rally. Down 49-45 with more than seven minutes left, Jacksonville College finished with a flourish. The Jags defense held Panola scoreless for more than five minutes.
Jacksonville College went on to claim the 66-56 victory and snap a two-game conference losing streak. The Jags made 14 of 20 free throws while the visiting Ponies were 9 of 10 from the charity line.
Greer led the Jags with 14 points while Martin Ombok and Pouncy scored 11 points each. Other scorers included: Sammy Jackson 3, Petravicius 4, Zulu 9, Gaye 8 and Anderson 6.
Top scorers for the Ponies were Riley with 12 and Burrell added 10.
Panola Fillies, 85, Lady Jaguars 75
The Jacksonville College Lady Jaguars got another glipse of how tough Region IV conference action could be, losing to the Panola Fillies, 85-75.
After a big win over a non-conference foe in their last game, the Lady Jaguars were jolted back to the reality of tough league action.
The Fillies used a full court press and tenacious rebounding to built a quick lead. The visitors fro Panola College kept the pressure on the entire game and claimed the 10-point win.
“Panola may be the best team we have seen all year,” Jacksonville College head women’s coach Brad Phillips said. “We have got to do a better job on rebounding and getting on loose balls. It seemed everytime the ball was on the court Panola would get it. Panola is a very good team. We gave them some points from out inability to handle the press. They just wore us down.”
Panola started slowly, but they were able to build a small lead thanks to multiple shots on their end of the court. The Lady Jags were often limited to one attempt as the Fillies cleaned the backboards. Jacksonville College was down 12-7 in the early going.
Jacksonville College tried to stay close and fought back to reduce the margin to just a point 20-19 thanks to hoops from Miesha WIlliams, Shundrae Faulk and Megan Morris. Panola started to find their shooting range and in the final 10 minutes of the opening half they out-scored the hometown Lady Jags by a 24 to 15.
At intermission the Fillies were holding a 10 point lead, 44-34. In the second half it was more of the same as the Fillies continued to beat the Lady Jaguars down the court. The transition buckets combined with the defensive pressure swung the game to the Panola squad.
The Lady Jaguars found themselvs down by 14 points, 55-41 in the second half. The Filles went on to win by a final of 85-75.
Karee Houlette led Panola with 15 while Kim Edmonson hit for 14 points including several big 3-pointers.
Lawson continued her consistent play and paced the Lady Jaguars with 19 points. Morris added 14 as the only other player in double figures. Other Lady Jaguars scorers included: Theodora Pandeli 9, Cresmon Whittington 4, Silvia Rios 2, Miesha Williams 8, Sophie Piggie 6, Ehryn Williams 3, Lashunda Rogers 2, Faulk 5 and Areyal LeDeatte 2 points.
“Panola was picked pretty high in the conference and I can see why,” Stewart said. “We need to improve and keep working hard on our game.”
Both teams will be playing at Athens against Trinity Valley Community College with the women’s game to begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by the men’s game at 7:30 p.m.
Jaguar head coach Young added, “It is important for us to play well in Athens. That is a tough place to go and try to get a win, Pat Smith (TVCC coach) will have his team playing well, I can tell you that.”
By Don Wallace