East Jessamine earned its 19th win of the season Tuesday night by beating Burgin 79-63 at home. The Jaguars are just one win away from their third consecutive 20-win season.
The victory over Burgin came relatively easily as East jumped out to any early 8-1 lead with the help of five points by Hayden Smith. Smith, a sophomore, scored 15 points on the night.
East had raced out to a 15-5 lead by the end of the first quarter and led 20-5 in the first minute of the second.
“At times, (we played) fairly well; at other times, we kind of went through the motions,” East Jessamine coach Chris O’Bryan said.
The spread stayed between 12 and 17 points through most of the second quarter. A pair of free throws by Kameren Reed in the final second of the first half gave East a 35-20 lead at halftime. Reed scored eight points off the bench.
“At halftime we talked about how through the first eight to 10 minutes we were focused and played pretty well, extending the lead from 10 up to 15 and then the last two or three minutes there, we kind of went to sleep and went through the motions,” O’Bryan said.
The lead hit 24 points in the third quarter as senior Mike Jones hit a shot to make it 52-28 with 3:22 remaining in the period.
However, an 8-1 run by the Bulldogs cut the lead down to 58-41 with three seconds remaining in the third. East got a little more breathing room as senior Taylor Harper sunk a 70-foot Hail Mary to make it a 61-41 game heading into the final eight minutes.
With reserves on the floor for most of the fourth quarter, East cruised to the 16-point win.
Harper finished with a team-high 23 points, and Timmy Bradshaw scored nine.
East Jessamine has won seven games in a row — its longest streak of the season.