Youth Panthers having banner season


From The Paper staff reports

The Jackson County Youth Wrestling program has come a long way from that first practice in late October.

This past weekend showed how far they have come. Many of them competed in various tournaments throughout the state of Georgia. Some had their best showing of the season. And, the coaches learned things to improve on.

“This is always a good thing,” coach Quay Reeves said. “If you have nothing to improve on, you will always get beaten by someone else. We have some very hard working boys and we want them to enjoy the sport all the way through their high school.

“Winning at a tournament is just the culmination of the hard work they put in at the gym.”

On Saturday, four wrestlers competed with the following results: North Gwinnett Bulldog Brawl tournament, Kaden Andreasen (14-and-under 98-pound weight class) finished third and Josiah Reeves (12-and-under 80-pound weight class) placed fourth.

Continue reading Youth Panthers having banner season

Eagles survive Panthers’ rally for crucial region win


Love’s last-second heroics propel Lady Panthers past Lady Eagles


COMMERCE – When East Jackson’s Colton Puckett connected on a 3-pointer to start the fourth quarter, the Eagles held a 16-point lead (47-31) over in-county rival Jackson County.

The Eagles looked to be on their way to an easy win. But, as is the case in sports, no lead is truly safe.

With under 50 seconds to play, the Panthers had cut the deficit to two points, 55-53. But, the Eagles hit nine free throws in the final 45 seconds to escape with a seven-point win, 64-57.

“We just somehow found a way to win,” East Jackson head coach David Boyd said. “They (Jackson County) have got to be one of the best high school basketball teams, with their record, that I think I’ve ever seen.

“They are very well-coached. They play very smart. They do a lot of good things. They are really hard to play. And, it took everything we had to win that game. I give them a lot of credit.”

They also escaped with 52-50 win over the Panthers earlier this season.

Continue reading Eagles survive Panthers’ rally for crucial region win

Panthers run past Eagles at home



JEFFERSON – In what looked like an easy victory early in the third quarter, the Jackson County Panthers had to stave-off a late Oglethorpe County Eagles’ rally to pick up a 65-56 victory on Saturday.

 Joel Ellis led the Panthers’ scoring with 19 points including six in the fourth quarter. Malique Wade had eight fourth-quarter points en route to a 17-point performance.

Dragons find new life in 2nd half, down Warriors in 2OT for much needed win



JEFFERSON – Friday night’s game between Jefferson and Oconee County had everything a spectator could ask for, especially if you were rooting for the Dragons.

There was a pretty large comeback, three player ejections, two overtimes and a multitude of exciting moments. In the end, the Dragons stood with their hands raised beating the Warriors 53-44 in a double- overtime thriller.

“It feels good to be because our kids needed this…We finally found out what gives us the best chance to win,” said Jefferson head coach Boling Dubose.

Jefferson had an ugly first quarter as they allowed Oconee County to jump out to a 17-5 lead. The Dragons settled down in the second quarter and didn’t allow the Warriors to pull away, but they still found themselves trailing 25-14 going into halftime.

The second half was where the game became interesting. Jefferson had a hot start to the third quarter, cutting the lead to 25-21. The run was ended by two sets of free throws by Oconee County giving them a 29-21 lead.

With one of Oconee County’s starters ejected, the Dragons continued fighting back and cutting the lead slowly. Then Chris Nable made a shot to tie the game at 40 and send it to overtime.

The first overtime was very low scoring with each team only scoring two points. The second overtime was where the Dragons took control for the win.

Bulldogs ground Eagles with 59-point victory



COMMERCE – East Jackson head coach David Boyd said Friday night that the 2014-2015 Morgan County Bulldogs team might be the best team he has ever gone up against, and that’s hard to argue against.

The Bulldogs shot 68 percent from the field on their way to a 59-point road win against the East Jackson Eagles ,100-41, behind 30 points from star point guard Tookie Brown.

Deshaven Reynolds added 19 points for the Bulldogs and Jermaine Alexander helped his way to 16 points, respectively.

East Jackson freshman guard Drue Drinnon showed flashes of brilliance in the first half, but the devious Drinnon struggled in the second half, leading to his departure via foul-out early on in the fourth quarter.

Drinnon finished the contest with 18 points on seven of 10 shooting and 3-for-4 from three-point range.

Drinnon managed only four shot attempts in the second half and made only one basket before fouling out.

“They did a good job of double teaming me in the second half,” Drinnon said. “I couldn’t get a shot off.

“Morgan has a lot more athletes than we do. They outplayed us tonight, hands down.”