North Santa Rosa

Jay boys top Paxton!

Thursday-Things looked bleak for the Jay boys basketball team. Down 17-4 at the end of the first quarter in the regional semi-finals at Paxton (20-6), a team that Jay (16-9) had fallen to less than a week ago in the district championship by a score of 52-31, it seemed that the 23/24 season was coming to an end. And, while that wouldn’t be ideal, it would have been bearable. After all, this team had big wins this season, including going 6-0 against rivals Central and Northview, a home thriller that was televised over Destin High School, and a big win over Pine Forest to end the regular season at home. If the season would have ended on Thursday night in Paxton, the Jay faithful would have still cheered this team and been thankful for the work these seniors have put in. Seven seniors, including Ethan Mcdonald, who eclipsed 1,600 points in his career this season, would have had nothing to hang their heads about if it all ended on Thursday.

But…it did not end.

Looking up at the scoreboard, trailing 13, the Jay Royals decided to keep chipping away. They chose to stick to the plan that this coaching staff had implemented after the district championship loss and play ball. And, guess what? It worked out.

Offensively, the Royals connected on four 3’s in the second quarter, two from senior Mason Allen , one from Ethan Mcdonald, and another from Hayden Morris. Defensively, the Royals stuck to the plan of disrupting passing lanes and held Paxton to only 10. Again, chipping away at the 13 point deficit. Jay now only trailed by six at halftime.

And then, unfortunately for the Bobcats, the third quarter occurred. Jay’s defense came out determined to do what they came to do…disrupt and confuse Paxton’s offense. Safe to say that they succeeded. The high-powered Bobcat offense was suffocated and only produced two points in the third. Two. Jay’s offense scored 15, including another three from Mcdonald. The team went 8/10 from the free throw line, taking the lead into the fourth, 36-29.

Jay was able to sustain a late run by Paxton as the two teams broke even in the fourth, both scoring 16 in a quarter where 36 total free throws were shot.

“Just very proud of the kids,” head basketball coach Hank Hullet said after the win. “We felt like we didn’t play or coach well during the district championship. We executed our game plan and came away with a win.”

With the win, Jay is now one game away from advancing to the state final four. They will be traveling to Chipley (18-11) on Tuesday night. Last year, Chipley ended Jay’s season at home. The Royals are hoping to return the favor this year.

Matthew Skipper led the way for Jay, scoring 13. Ethan Mcdonald had 12 while Mason Allen had 9.

JHS 4 17 15 16-52

PHS 17 10 2 16-45

(M. Skipper 13, E. Mcdonald 12, M. Allen 9, H. Morris, 3, B. Godwin 3, T. Mandell 7)

Posted by on Feb 16 2024. Filed under Community, High School, Jay, Local, Sports, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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