The Jackson Indians finished off the regular season on Tuesday with a nail-biter of a tough loss. Despite a wild fourth-quarter comeback, the Tribe came up just short against Webster Groves in Jackson. The 52-51 loss dropped the Indians’ record to 17-9 on the season, but they were still able to lock down the number two seed in the upcoming District Tournament.
The regular season finale started off just fine for Jackson, as they took a 14-11 lead after the first eight minutes and looked to be cruising along nicely on their home court. Webster stepped up their defense in the second though, holding Jackson to 11 points. Thankfully the Indians were able to do the same and kept the Statesmen to 11 points as well.
That gave Jackson a three-point lead after two quarters and they headed into the locker room with a slim, but positive, 25-22 lead.
Webster Groves was fired up after the break though, and took the game into their own hands in the third. Jackson couldn’t handle the press and were held to just four points, as the shots just weren’t falling for the Indians. Unfortunately, the Statesmen made theirs, and were able to put up a 15-spot. That gave them a 37-29 lead and all the momentum heading into the fourth quarter.
The Indians bounced back though, and exploded for 22 points in the period, but with Webster having the luxury of a nearly double-digit lead, Jackson was forced to foul. The work at the line was the big difference in the game, with the Tribe hitting just 53% of their shots. On the flip side Webster hit nearly 78% of theirs.
The Statesman were able to make their shots at the end, and their 15 points to Jackson’s 22 was just barely enough to squeak by with a 52-51 victory. It was a valiant effort by the Indians and their shooters finally got hot, but the surge happened just a bit too late. The clock was against them in this one, but that doesn’t take any of the sting out of it.
Blayne Harris was the leading scorer for Jackson with 17 points on six buckets and a trio of three-pointers. Judd Thoma had 12 as the only other player in double figures, and Clayton Ernst had six points and seven rebounds to lead the team. The Indians shot well from the outside, making 7-of-18 from downtown for a 39% ratio, but they were ice cold in the paint, making just 40% of their shots from the floor.
It was a tough way to end the season, but it didn’t change Jackson’s playoff picture. They are set as the 2-seed in the Class 6 District 1 Tournament, and will have the luxury of taking on 7th-seeded Oakville in the first round.
Tipoff is March 1st at 5;30 pm. Good luck Indians!