The Jackson Indians moved to 13-6 on the season after a pair of hard fought games this week. They hosted Cape Notre Dame on Tuesday and quickly dispatched of the Bulldogs 52-23, before welcoming Miller Career Academy on Friday. That one was a little tougher to swallow, as the Phoenix edged the Tribe 62-54.
The game against Notre Dame was a rout from the jump, as the Indians ripped off 21 points in the first quarter. It was their biggest offensive output of the day, but the Jackson defense was the story in this one. They allowed just four points in the first and only five in the second. After tacking on an additional 11 of their own, the Indians held a comfortable 32-9 lead at the half.
After the break, the offense cooled a bit but the defense was as stifling as ever. Jackson won the third-quarter battle 13-5, which afforded them to get the bench some minutes in the fourth. The Bulldogs won that battle 9-7, but their cavernous hole was far too big to climb out of. The Indians held on to win 52-23.
The defense racked up 10 deflections, nine steals, two blocks and forced 18 turnovers. Offensively, Blayne Harris led the way with 15 points and also had three rebounds and three assists. Clayton Ernst was the only other player in double figures with his 11. He also led the team with eight boards.
The game against the Phoenix three days later was a much closer affair. Jackson started out on top with a 16-point effort and managed to hold MCA to 11, but this would be a game of back-and-forths. The Phoenix came firing back in the second with 21 and held the Indians to just 11. That flipped the script and gave Miller a 32-27 lead at the half.
Jackson must have heard a good speech at halftime, because they came out gunning after the break. They muscled up for 20 points, held the Phoenix to 15 and managed to tie the game, setting up a deadlocked fourth-quarter showdown. Knotted at 47, MCA jumped ahead in the final frame and managed to double up Jackson and then some with a 15-7 effort. The Indians didn’t have an answer in the final minutes and Miller escaped with a 62-54 victory.
Jackson shot well, hitting 45% of their two-point attempts and 33% from downtown. They were also solid at the line, going 13-of-15, but MCA just had a few more big plays in them in this one. Ernst led the team in scoring with 17 points and also collected eight rebounds. He was backed up by Steven Schneider who went 2-for-2 from beyond the arc on his way to 14 points, and Judd Thoma, who cracked double digits with 11 of his own.
The Indians have now rotated wins and losses over their last six games. They’ll look to get back in the win column on Tuesday as they host Charleston. Tip off is at 7:30.