PINEVILLE — Jackson County scored six of the final eight points Tuesday night to pull out a 55-51 win over the Mountain Lions in the season opener for both teams.
The Generals led by as many as ten early in the fourth quarter before Pineville rallied to tie the game with a 12-2 run. Senior center John Simpson started the spurt by converting a three-point play and finished it with a basket inside after he came up with a steal. The basket, off a feed from Cody Collett made the score 46-all with 3:30 to play.
Jackson’s Jordan Fox and Pineville’s Jacob Skinner exchanged 3-pointers. Zach Lawson put the Generals ahead to stay with a basket inside and Fox followed with a steal that led to a layup by Jacob Hammons for a four-point lead with 1:20 remaining.
Jared Philpot drove the lane for two, but Seth Bingham hit a pair of free throws and the Generals forced two Mountain Lion turnovers in the final minute to hold on for the win.
“We made some adjustments, changed our defense and we got a little more aggressive defensively. We did that and we executed there for a stretch, but we didn’t make the adjustments once Jackson County made theirs,” Pineville coach J.D. Strange said.
Fox and Hammons led the Generals with 14 points each while Steven Wagers and Lawson added nine points each.
Simpson and Cody Collett scored 15 points each to lead the Lions offensively. Skinner finished with eight, Philpot seven and Byron David Asher six.
Lawson and Hammons scored five points each in the first period while Collett knocked down a pair of 3s and Simpson scored five. A steal and layup at the buzzer by Fox gave Jackson County a 14-13 lead after one.
Fox opened the second quarter with a 3, but Simpson later converted a three-point play and a trey from Collett tied the game at 21 about midway through the quarter.
A put-back from Wagers gave the Generals a 26-23 advantage and Hammons added a pair of baskets over the final 2:15 as Jackson County carried a 30-23 lead into the half.
The Generals took their first double-digit lead on a Hammons basket after another steal that made it 35-25 at the 5:12 mark of the third quarter and the lead was 42-32 after three.
“Jackson County showed us where our pipes leak. They did a real good job of executing the ball and shot it extremely well,” said J.D. Strange. “We didn’t execute at all and we had too many turnovers. We’ll be alright in time, but we certainly didn’t look very good tonight.”
Pineville played without starting point guard Seth Jeffrey, who is out with a concussion for at least two more weeks. Also sophomore guard Scotty Hoskins will miss the season with a knee injury.
The Mountain Lions (1-0) host Thomas Walker, Va., Thursday in the second game of a girls/boys double-header.
Jackson County (1-0) hosts Riverside Christian Friday.
— — —
Jackson Co…. 14.. 16.. 12.. 13 — 55
Pineville…….. 13.. 10…. 9.. 19 — 51
JACKSON CO. (55): Jacob Hammons 14, Jordan Fox 14, Steven Wagers 9, Zach Lawson 9, Austin Whitehead 5, Seth Bingham 4, Jacob Hayes 0, Cody Cunigan 0.
PINEVILLE (51): Cody Collett 15, John Simpson 15, Jacob Skinner 8, Jared Philpot 7, Byron David Asher 6, Connor Ford 0, Dalton Ledbetter 0.