Jackson boys basketball team tops rival Central 57-43

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Jackson's Blake Reynolds tries to shoot against Central's Andre Statam during the second quarter Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 in Jackson. (Fred Lynch)

The Jackson High School basketball team picked a perfect night to play one of its more complete games this season.

The Indians locked down defensively, shared the ball offensively, hit the boards and limited turnovers. It all added up to a resounding 57-43 home victory over arch rival Central.

"It feels good," junior point guard Josh Daume said. "I thought we played really good. We played good offense, we didn't turn the ball over, and we played really good defense, too."

A big crowd split fairly evenly between the squads saw the Indians improve to 14-9 while dropping the Tigers to 12-8.

"I was very pleased with our effort," Jackson coach Darrin Scott said. "I thought we really came out and executed well from the beginning."

Central coach Drew Church was disappointed in his squad's performance but gave props to Jackson.

"I thought they played well. They shot the ball well," Church said. "They just out-toughed us. I told the guys, one thing we take pride in at Cape is not getting out-toughed.

"There might be better teams than us, but we don't want any team to out-tough us. Tonight, I thought that happened. It's tough to swallow."

Jackson's Karson King shoots over Central's Garan Evans during the second quarter Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013 in Jackson. (Fred Lynch)

Karson King, a 6-foot-5 junior wing who ranks among the area's top players, had his usual impressive performance for Jackson with a game-high 20 points.

King scored all his points over the final three quarters, including 14 in the second half when Jackson broke things open.

"It feels great. All the pieces are coming together right now," King said. "We were just confident all week we could beat them."

Daume was Jackson's second-leading scorer with 13 points, his top output since returning to action three games ago.

Daume was the Indians' starter at the point before going down after just a few games with a stress fracture.

"Josh gave us a lift. He did a good job. It's nice to have him back," Scott said.

Daume, who has been coming off the bench since returning, gives the Indians another ballhandler in the backcourt to go with their imposing size inside.

"I'm just trying to get back in the swing of things. I've got no pain and my wind is pretty good," Daume said. "I was devastated when I heard it [that he would miss so much of the season]."

Blake Reynolds, an emerging 6-7 sophomore forward who could turn out to be among the region's top college prospects, added 11 points for the Indians.

Reynolds displayed his versatility, nailing his first 3-pointer of the season and hitting a nice hook shot from about 10 feet.

"He's playing well and he does a lot of little things for us," Scott said. "He's got a chance to be a really good player."

Reynolds' 3-pointer came with two seconds left in the first half and sent Jackson to the break up 28-21.

"In practice he knocks down a few [3-pointers] and he had some on JV last year, but this was his first varsity three," Scott said.

Senior guard Garan Evans paced Central with 15 points and junior forward Mikey Jones added 11.

But 6-6 junior forward Jamal Cox, one of the region's premier frontcourt players, struggled with his shooting all night and scored just four points.

"We did a great job of knowing where Jamal is and then being able to recover back to other players," Scott said. "He's a great player."

Church said teams are starting to make a habit of defending Cox with two or three players, as Jackson did.

"They did a good job of double- and triple-teaming Jamal," Church said. "He has to learn to be able to pass out of it, but in fairness to him we have to cut better."

Central built two early four-point leads and the Tigers were still ahead 11-10 at the end of the first quarter.

Jackson began to take control by scoring the first nine points of the second period -- six by King, after his scoreless opening quarter -- to go ahead 19-11.

The Tigers never caught back up although they trailed just 25-21 until Reynolds' 3-pointer at the end of the half. Reynolds had nine of Jackson's 18 second-quarter points.

"Blake is really playing with confidence," Scott said.

Central hung close for the first part of the third quarter before Jackson began to pull away.

The Indians opened up their first double-digit lead on King's conventional three-point play that made it 38-27 with 3 minutes, 25 seconds left in the third.

Jackson's lead never dipped below double figures the rest of the way. It was 43-29 entering the final period and Jackson's biggest advantage was 57-38.

"We were able to do a good job executing that second half and they went cold," Scott said.

Jackson shot 50 percent from the field (21 of 42) while Central shot 41.5 percent (17 of 41), but just 29.2 percent (7 of 24) in the second half.

"Tough defense," King said when asked the biggest key to the win.

"Our guys were prepared. We knew what they were going to do. We just had trouble taking it from practice to the game," Church said. "They really took advantage every time we let up. They were able to sustain it the entire way. Kudos to them."

King said the win is even more special to Jackson because it's the only time the rivals play this season.

In previous years the teams have also squared off in various tournaments, but that won't be the case this season.

"It meant even more because we only get to play them once," King said with a smile.


CENTRAL (43) -- Sentrell Blackmon 3, Al Young 3, Garan Evans 15, Jamal Cox 4, Mikey Jones 11, Andre Statam 7. FG 17, FT 9-14, F 15. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: none)

JACKSON (57) -- Josh Daume 13, Braxton McDowell 4, Josh Friess 2, Braden Wendel 2, Karson King 20, Blake Reynolds 11, Brandon Lueders 2, Luke Stevens 3. FG 21, FT 12-19, F 12. (3-pointers: King 1, Reynolds 1, Stevens 1. Fouled out: none)

JV -- Central won 48-45 in OT.

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