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Jackson boys' rally vs. top team in Class 5 comes up short
The Jackson Indians got what they expected from McCluer North at Saturday's Tiger Shootout hosted by Central.
"We were expecting a pretty big and athletic team -- that's really what we got," Jackson senior Bobby Clark said. "The first couple minutes we were playing pretty fast. We were playing really like they wanted us to. We needed to slow it down and get the shots we wanted. We started doing that in the second half and that's when we made a little run to come back."
The Indians weren't able to come all the way back from their slow start though, and lost 57-51 to the No. 1 ranked team in Class 5.
Jackson fell behind 10-0 to start the game and trailed 35-16 at halftime.
"They made their first five shots and got out pretty quick," Jackson coach Darrin Scott said. "We missed our first five it seemed like. We got in that hole and then we just kind of came down and tried to be patient on offense. We got some good shots, I thought."
Jackson outscored the Stars in the second half, including 23-9 in the fourth quarter.
"That's something that we've talked a lot about -- our mental toughness has to keep improving, that we don't let the moment get to us -- get down 15 and feel like we've got to make this next shot," Scott said. "Each possession we've got to compete."
Tyler Rhodes led Jackson with 15 points while Clark added 13.
"We made shots and we got second shots in the second half," Clark said. "We got more offensive rebounds and we got a couple putbacks and those are easy points, so it's nice when you get those."
McCluer North was led by senior B.J. Young, who will play at Arkansas next season, with 20 points. But Young was ejected from the game with 5 minutes, 13 seconds to go after elbowing a Jackson player.
That opened the door for a final rally from the Indians, who outscored McCluer North 15-6 the rest of the way and pulled within four points with 12 seconds to go.
"For us, the biggest thing is we just talked about was we've got to take this and we've got to get better," Scott said. "We've got to keep improving on the offensive and defensive end with our fundamentals because we play some really good teams and that's where we're trying to get -- to compete against those teams."
McCluer North moved to 14-0 this season. Jackson fell to 9-4.
"We want to take this as clearly not a high point," Scott said. "We want to take this as something to build on and keep improving."
McCLUER NORTH (57) -- B.J. Young 20, Tephon Lindsey 2, Toye Okunrinboye 8, Caleb Bush 3, Brown 3, Jordan Granger 16, Keaton Turner 5. (3-pointers: Bush 1, Brown 1, Young 2. Fouled out: none)
JACKSON (51) -- Caleb Newcomer 5, Tyler Rhodes 15, Zach McDowell 5, Bobby Clark 13, Brad Clary 7, John Meyer 6. (3-pointers: Newcomer 1, Rhodes 4, Clark 1, Clary 1. Fouled out: McDowell)