BY NORM BETZ –
The Acorn Tigers trailed Caddo Hills after every quarter except the most important one, the fourth, as they defeated the Indians, 61-55. The Tigers improved to 3-4 overall and 1-0 in conference play with the home victory. Senior Tiger Sky Jackson led all scorers with 28 points.
“We started off very slow, but battled back, never gave up, and found a way to win,” said Tigers head coach Mike Jackson. “Even though we trailed a lot we still found a way to get that first conference victory.”
Caddo Hills went on a 10-1 run to start the game, with eight of those points coming via the charity stripe in the opening four and a half minutes of play. The Tigers cut the lead to two points twice and ultimately trailed by one point at the end of the opening quarter, 15-14. After senior Justin Hogan starting off the scoring hitting one-of-two from the free throw line, junior Ashton Pardun got the crowd excited when he converted a three-point play the old-fashioned way, with a baseline layup and the and-one, to cut the Indians lead to 10-4. Jackson went coast-to-coast and drained a 10-foot jumper, and then Pardun added a pair from the stripe to cut the lead to 10-8 with 1:50 to play in the first. Jackson and Pardun each added another bucket and sophomore Daniel Cottrell closed out the first quarter scoring with a 10-foot turnaround jumper.
The Tigers grabbed the lead on three different occasions in the second quarter, but were outscored 18-15 and trailed the Indians 33-29 at the half. Jackson led all scorers in the second quarter with nine points, hitting a trifecta, a pair from the field and two-of-two from the line. Hogan, Pardun and sophomore Aaron Bissell each tossed in buckets to round out the Tigers scoring.
The Tigers tied the score twice in the third but never grabbed the lead and trailed 48-47, despite
outscoring the Indians 18-15 in the quarter. Pardun grabbed the baton and tossed in seven points to lead the Tigers scoring for the second time in three quarters. Pardun had three buckets including a pair of rebound put-backs and hit one-of-two from the charity stripe. Jackson tossed in a pair of buckets, while senior Morgan Hair jumped into the action draining one from three-point land and then closing the quarter with a buzzer-beating layup. Hogan rounded out the third quarter scoring with a 12-foot jumper for the Tigers.
Jackson started off the fourth quarter scoring hitting one from beyond the arc to put the Tigers up 50-48 with 6:30 to play. The Indians did tie it with the next bucket, but the Tigers outscored Caddo Hills 11-5 in the final four minutes to win their first conference game 61-55. Jackson continued to have the hot-hand, scoring the next eight points for the Tigers, with a pair of steals and scores, a driving layup and a pair from the line. Pardun closed out the Tigers scoring knocking down three-of-four from the stripe.
FINAL STATS: Acorn 61: Sky Jackson led all scorers with 28 points and was also perfect from the line, hitting 4-of-4, Ashton Pardun added 19 points and hit 7-of-9 (78%) from the line, Justin Hogan and Morgan Hair each added five points, while Hogan went 1-for-2 (50%) from the stripe, Daniel Cottrell and Aaron Bissell both added buckets to round out the Tigers scoring. As a team, the Tigers shot 71% (12-of-17) from the free throw line.
Caddo Hills 55: Gaven Caldwell led the Indians with 19 points and was also perfect from the line hitting 5-of-5, Seth Powell added 17 points and made 7-of-8 (86%) from the line, Tanner Owens scored nine points and made 6-of-11 (55%) from the stripe, Yang added a pair of three-pointers, while Josh Gonzales and Hulvey were each good for two points. As a team, the Indians shot 72% (18-of-24) from the charity stripe.