Wildcats edge Meridian 50-49

With 1.3 seconds remaining, Joshua Jones’ jump shot missed and Anna-Jonesboro held on for a 50-49 win over Meridian in the Cobden High School Shootout in boys’ prep basketball Saturday, Dec. 11.

The win halted the Bobcats’ 10-0 winning streak.

“I’m glad we were able to bounce back from Friday (loss to Pinckneyville),” A-J coach Mike Chamness said. “We played well. Our two big men played outstanding.”

A-J’s 6-4 Brady Wright and 6-7 Tylor Duckworth took charge inside. Wright scored 21 points and had a team-high 15 rebounds, while Duckworth led the scoring with 23 points and pulled down 7 boards.

“I thought going in we would have the advantage of getting the ball inside,” Chamness said. “I thought we controlled the tempo with our rebounding. We did an exceptional job rebounding.”

The Wildcats outrebounded the Bobcats, 35-14. However, Meridian only had 13 turnovers to A-J’s 26.

“We didn’t shoot well and they missed some shots, too,” Chamness said.

The Wildcats were 17 of 34 in shot attempts from the field, 0 of 10 from 3-point range and 13 of 20 from the free throw line.

The Bobcats were 18 of 45 in shot attempts from the field, 2 of 13 from 3-point range and 7 of 10 from the charity stripe.

A-J led 12-8 after one quarter and fell behind 24-23 at the half. The Wildcats fought back to go ahead 42-35 going into the final period.

Travis Smith and Cody Livesay scored 3 points apiece for the rest of the Wildcats’ scoring.

“Both of them struggled to shoot the ball,” Chamness said. “But they found other ways to help out (passing and ball handling).”

Pinckneyville 51, A-J 30: The Wildcats fell behind early and couldn’t catch up in the loss on the road Friday, Dec. 10.

“Pinckneyville did a great job of taking us out of what we wanted to do,” Chamness said. “But it’s always tough to play up there.”

The Panthers led 15-7 after one quarter and 31-14 at the half. Pinckneyville was ahead 39-23 going into the final period.

Duckworth had 11 points and 8 rebounds to lead the Wildcats. Brady Carter added 10 points and 4 rebounds. Livesay had 6 points and Eric Flamm, Dalton Baker and Smith 1 apiece.

The Wildcats were 9 of 23 in shot attempts from the floor, 2 of 10 from 3-point range and 7 of 15 from the free throw line.

The Panthers were 17 of 30 in shot attempts from the field, 3 of 12 from 3-point range and 8 of 12 from the charity stripe.

A-J, 5-2, is scheduled to play at home against Sparta Friday and travels to Massac County Saturday.

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