The Jackson Indians have been on a teeter-totter of highs and lows the past few weeks, but they managed to end this week with their legs dangling at the top of the teeter (assuming that’s the high end and the totter is the low end). Regardless, the Tribe marched to Oakville on Friday night and promptly took down the Tigers 63-47 in an all-around classically executed victory.
Things didn’t start off that way though. The Tigers showed up early and ripped off 22 points in the opening quarter. Jackson was held to just a dozen, setting up a mountain for them to climb. A ten-point deficit is not necessarily how you draw it up from the jump, but this Indians squad is resilient.
They got their defensive miscues ironed out in the second and held Oakville to just eight points. Jackson also managed 15 of their own and were able to take a chunk out of the Tigers’ lead. That made the score 30-27 in favor of Oakville heading into halftime.
The locker room speech must have been a doozy because the second half belonged to Jackson.
The Indians dropped 18 to take their first lead of the game and kept the Tigers at bay with a 10-spot to head into the final quarter with a 45-40 advantage. With the Indians sniffing the W, they would not relent in the fourth. Their collective foot firmly on the gas, the Tribe took no prisoners with another 18-point effort and sealed the deal with a 63-47 victory.
The Tigers only managed seven points in the final frame, as the Jackson defense continued to press, and foil the offense that once seemed so potent back in the first quarter. The win bumped the Indians to 14-6 on the season and is hopefully a sign of a blossoming winning streak.
Judd Thoma went off in this one with a game-high 18 points. He played 30 minutes and went 9-of-12 from the field, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out seven assists. Blayne Harris was right on his heels with 17 and he sunk three from beyond the arc. Clayton Ernst earned the game’s only double-double with 10 points and 13 boards, while Kaedmon Winborne hit a pair of treys and managed 10 points as well.
Next up, the Indians will look to put back-to-back wins together for the first time since early January, but their next test will be a tough one. They have the luxury of hosting a 17-5 Charleston team that won’t just roll over. Tipoff is 7:30 on Monday.