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Jaguars win close game

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TERRANCE CHISOLM

Times Sports Correspondent

This past Thursday night the Jaguars jumped out to a 6-0 lead at home against the Seminoles in the first few minutes of the first quarter. Jaguars Head Coach Bobby Parrish said, “This was the worst game we’ve played all year.”

Florida High produced their first points of the game from the free-throw line with 4:30 left in the first quarter. Florida High began to find their stroke from the field and after a three-point shot with 1:48 remaining in the first quarter, they sliced into the Jaguar’s lead by a score of 8-6. 

East Gadsden quickly regained control of the game; a three-pointer by Jajuan Perkins with less than a minute to play in the opening period extended the home team’s lead to 14-6. The Jaguar’s late run at the end of the opening quarter resulted in a 16-8 advantage going into the second quarter.

Both teams went scoreless for nearly the entire first two minutes of the second quarter. The Seminoles ended the scoring drought with an and-one lay-up near the six-minute mark of the second period; after missing the free throw, the Seminoles trailed 16-10. Florida High also did a good job of executing their 2-3 defense, which caused East Gadsden to commit a few turnovers and settle for jump shots.

John Fain was able to draw a foul on an aggressive drive with 2:01 remaining in the first half; after making one of his shots from the free-throw line the Jaguars held a 22-17 lead. Florida High continued to play tough defense in the final minutes of the first half and came up with several big blocks. East Gadsden withstood Florida High’s second-quarter push and took a small 25-22 lead into the half. 

The first period of the second half was an intense quarter that began with a nice block by Nick Byrd on the Seminole’s first shot attempt. Good defense from both teams during the first half of the third quarter allowed very little scoring. Florida High tied the game up by a score of 26-26 with just less than three minutes left to play in the period. With the game close, Fain began to penetrate to the basket again and his slashing drive to the basket with a few seconds remaining in the third gave the Jaguars a 34-29 lead. 

The Jaguars carried their momentum over to the final quarter and quickly extended their lead to 39-29 as 7:29 remained in the game. Rather than folding under pressure the Seminoles continued to fight and scored 10 unanswered points to tie the game up 39-39 with 4:49 left in the fourth quarter.

Once again Fain put his team on his back and began to relentlessly drive to the basket, and with just over three minutes to play, he put his team up by a score of 46-41 after making one of his free throws. East Gadsden’s star center Bobby Dukes fouled out of the game with 1:06 left to play, which sent the Seminoles to the line as they trailed by a score of 49-47.

The last minute of this game was very physical. Florida High began to intentionally foul the Jaguars in an attempt to force them to win from the free-throw line. The Seminoles came down court and nailed a three-pointer that cut the Jaguar’s lead to 51-50 with about 30 seconds left to play. The visitors battled until the final buzzer sounded, but in the end the Jaguars were able to make just enough of their free throw attempts as they pulled out a 54-53 win over Florida High.

When asked about his feelings on the physicality of the game Coach Parrish gave a slight smile and said, “I like to see that out of our guys; I haven’t seen that before but we must also hold our composure.”