JACKSON -- New Madrid County Central, overmatched height-wise, pushed taller Jackson before the Indians' big men prevailed in a decisive fourth-
NMCC, with no starter taller than 5-foot-11, fell to Jackson 59-47 on Thursday, a rescheduled make-up game for Friday's cancellation due to the threat of inclement weather.
"We definitely bounced back from the game against Sikeston (an 84-56 loss on Tuesday)," said NMCC coach Lennies McFerren. "Again, we were playing against a team with a height advantage on us. Jackson is a very solid ballclub and we can't match up with anybody 6-10, 6-6, but the guys just keep battling, battling, battling. I'm really pleased with the effort."
Added McFerren, "We got beat by 12, but it wasn't a 12-point game."
Trailing 30-18 at halftime, the Eagles, with Shaun Newsom and Antonio McIntosh scoring all the points, pulled to within six at 40-34 with 1:20 remaining in the third quarter.
Newsom scored 10 of his 12-point total in the quarter and the 5-11 McIntosh performed yeoman duty against Jackson's towering post presence with six of his game-high 24 points.
NMCC (7-15) hung tough despite lack of production from two of its offensive leaders, seniors Jordan Kimball and Terrard Long. Kimball was held to four points while Long was shut out.
"Jordan and Terrard didn't have very good games," said McFerren, "but other guys stepped up. McIntosh had the best game he's had in a long time."
Jackson (18-7) sank two free throws as the quarter wound down to take a 42
-34 lead into the final quarter.
McIntosh's field goal to open the fourth quarter cut the margin to six again at 42-36.
"We came back and had a very good third quarter which we haven't been having very much, but we just couldn't get over the hump," said McFerren. "They knew what they had to do to keep the lead, so I take my hat off to their coach."
Ignited by 6-foot-10 Aaron Redecker's slam dunk, the Indians went on a 10
-2 run to extend the margin to 14 at 52-38 midway of the fourth period.
Said Jackson coach Darrin Scott, "That second half they got after us and I thought we did a good job of weathering that storm when they cut it to six, got it (offense) back inside and did some good things."
Redecker and 6-6 sophomore Hunter Grantham, controlling the backboards for second and third-shot opportunities, scored four each in the run.
"That's been the story a lot for us this year," said Scott. "We handle the pressure, get into our offense, get it inside and good things happen for us.
"Against Kelly (a 56-36 Jackson win on Tuesday) we got inside and didn't finish like we would have liked. Tonight, we got inside and finished. I thought Aaron played with a lot of energy tonight."
Redecker and guard Ryan Leet shared scoring honors for the Indians with 13 apiece. Grantham added 10.
NMCC hosts Portageville tonight.
"That's a big game for us," said McFerren, as he preps his Eagles for the upcoming district tournament. "That's what this is all about, trying to get ready for this stretch. As long as they keep their attitude up, they'll bounce back. They're competitors."
Jackson, which completed its regular season, readies for Poplar Bluff in the first round of the four-team Class 5, District 1 Tournament.
Said Scott, "We've got a two-game, mini-tournament going now with Bluff in the first round. We felt like we were going to have to play Bluff at some point anyway, so playing them in the first round or the final is the same difference to us."
NMCC defeated Jackson 73-67 in the J.V. game.
Josh Minner paced the Eagles with 21 points.
Kyle Marshall had 18 and Justin Beasley added 14.