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Jackson’s 5

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‘The Day Basketball was Saved’ for the Eagles, 42-37

By Chris Cannon

CLINTON—Evan Jackson let the Clinton Hawks know a zone defense wasn’t going to work against the Eagles.

Jackson hit four treys in the first quarter to go along with his fifth in the fourth quarter, as Jacksboro came away with a 42-37 victory in District 2-AAA action.

“You can’t go zone against him,” head coach Cody Parker said. “You go zone against him, he’s going to get looks. We’re going to get him looks, and he’s going to shoot you out of it. You saw in the second quarter that they went to a box-and-one. We got some other guys involved. Our basketball team, it’s not about who’s scoring points, but it’s about whoever’s hot, lets get them the ball and win the game. If you play zone against us, Evan Jackson’s going to get you out of it.”

Jackson finished the game with a total of 19 points, while shooting 5-of-7 from beyond the arc. The eighth-grade guard also knocked down 4-of-4 from the charity stripe to go nearly perfect on the night.

“It was a great night,” Jackson said. “All my shots were falling. I think I missed two threes, and that’s about it.”

However, part of the help came from his teammates. On all five of Jackson’s treys, an assist was credited to one of his teammates.

That’s something Jackson says helps his team more than anything.

“It’s great,” he said. “Every time we’re moving the ball around, it’s great for everybody. It’s getting people open.”

One of the biggest surprises came from John Porter. The post finished the contest with a total of six assists.

He also added five points and six rebounds from inside the paint.

“John, he’s a big man, but he’s got a guard mindset,” Parker said. “He can dribble, and he can handle it. He can pass the basketball, and he can even shoot a little bit. The thing with John is, he’s so good at catching, turning and finding those guys cutting to the basket. He does a really good job for us playing that position. We ask a lot out of him, but he does a really good job.”

Porter contributed on two of Jackson’s treys with assists.

The Eagles almost let the game slip away, though.

With just over two minutes remaining in the game, Jacksboro held a 10-point lead. However, with 1:19 to go, Clinton trailed 37-35.

“We had about a 10-point lead with two minutes to go,” Parker said. “We had a couple silly turnovers being loose with the basketball, and we let them back in the ballgame. We were fortunate to really hang on on the road. To win a game like this, it really says a lot about the character of our team.”

Jacksboro held on, shooting 5-of-8 from the free-throw line in the final minute in order to secure the District 2-AAA win.

“We finished well at the free throw line,” Parker said. “That’s what I was impressed with. There’s been games where we’ve just not converted at the line. Tonight, luckily for us, we converted enough to give us a cushion for them to foul. Some guys stepped up and made some free throws.”

To go with Jackson and Porter’s totals, Elijah Phillips added 12 points and nine rebounds.

“It was great,” Phillips said. “This game, I kind of picked it back up a little bit. This is kind of a rebuilding game for me.”

Dawson Hembree added six points.

For Parker, it was just good to go to the break with a win.

“Going into the break, you go on the road and win a dogfight — I’ll take it everyday of the week,” he said.