Jacksonville opens district by nipping Bullard, 62-60

Jan. 13—Jacksonville eked out a 62-60 win over Bullard in what was a true barn burner Friday night at John Alexander Gymnasium.

The game was the District 16-4A opener for both clubs.

In the end, it boiled down to free throws.

The Indians (8-12, 1-0) shot 17-22 (77.2%) from the charity stripe, while the Panthers hit 13-21 (61.9%) from the line.

In the fourth quarter Jacksonville went 6-8 from the free throw line and Bullard made good on 4-9 attempts.

The game was close from beginning to end.

Bullard led 18-16 after one stanza and 27-26 at halftime.

The first time the Tribe led in the game came with 7:09 left to go in the third stanza and was the result of Isaiah Hamilton hitting a deuce off of a Brady McCown assist that put the home team up, 28-27.

After six lead changes in the third period, the Panthers led, 42-41, to start the fourth quarter.

A Cason Craig basket from the low paint that came with 4:19 left in regulation put the visitors in front, 52-47.

Jacksonville answered by going on a 9-2 run, with Brady McCown scoring four of the Tribe's points during the progression. McCown ended the night with 16 points and six rebounds.

Hamilton capped off the scoring spurt by scoring a basket off of a Bullard turnover at the 2:03 mark that gave Jacksonville a 56-54 advantage.

The Tribe owned the lead the rest of the evening; although the Panthers closed the gap to two points, 60-58, after a Tyler Lamberth layup that took place with 14 ticks showing on the scoreboard. Lamberth finished with 14 points and six caroms for the Panthers.

Layne Alexander of Bullard was the game's leading scorer with 17 points, which included three baskets from behind the arc. He also pulled down five boards.

Craig chipped in 12 points to go along with eight rebounds.

Colby Hanna scored four points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Bullard.

Hamilton added 16 points and six rebounds for Jacksonville, followed by Karmelo Clayborne with 13 points and five caroms.

Five different Indians scored a trey apiece.

Jacksonville heads to Palestine Tuesday while Bullard will visit Madisonville. Both games will get under way at 7:30 p.m.