JACKSON – The Jackson Ironmen pulled away in the second half to beat Washington Court House 55-35 on Saturday night at home.

The Ironmen (7-0, 5-0 FAC) earned their fifth conference win and for the first time in the Frontier Athletic Conference, they sit in first place.

“That is special, but there is a lot of work left to do,” said Jackson head coach Max Morrow. “We have a lot of roads left to travel, and we are excited where we are. Our guys want a league championship.

“But we have to play hard because no one is a gimme. Everyone is going to give us their best shot.”

Braxton Hammond scored a game-high 14 points – all in the second half – to lead the Ironmen.

Boston Kuhn and Drew Bragg scored 12 points each, while Evan Spires, who scored six points, added 11 rebounds, four steals, and three assists for Jackson.

Washington Court House (0-3, 0-2 FAC) was led by Calum Brown with 11 points, the only Blue Lion to score in double figures. The Blue Lions were limited to 30.2 percent shooting from the field.

Jackson led by seven points after opening with a 24-17 run in the first quarter.

The Ironmen pushed the lead to 12 points, 29-17, on a three-pointer by Tristan Prater and a basket by Drew Bragg to begin the second quarter.

However, the Blue Lions closed to 29-28 on a made free throw by Raleigh Haithcock with 1:20 to play. But Jackson ended with a 5-0 run on a three-pointer by Bragg and a layup basket by Spires with 0.2 seconds to lead 34-28 at halftime.

“They (Washington Court House) are a much-improved team from last year,” said Morrow. “It wasn’t easy tonight and it wasn’t always pretty. We didn’t play our best basketball, but at the end of the night, we came away with the win.

“A win is a win, especially in conference play, and I was happy with our effort, especially in the second half.

The Ironmen used a 19-5 run to put the game away in the second half. Hammond made five field goals and two free throws during the run to extend Jackson’s lead to 53-33 with 2:40 left.

Another field goal by Hammond capped the 55-35 victory for Jackson. Washington Court House was held to just seven points in the second

half.

“It was a great effort tonight. The way we play team defense is what we want to hang our hat on,” Morrow said. We talk about it every day. We talk about our gaps. We talk about where we want to force the ball, forcing one shot and done. We did that in the second half consistently.

“We forced them to miss shots, we contested a lot of their open looks, making them miss, which allowed us to get out in transition. That is where we are the best.”

The Ironmen return to the court on Friday in a FAC matchup against Greenfield-McClain at home. Jackson will host Logan on Saturday night. Both games will air on WKOV-96.7 FM.

Jackson 51, Miami Trace 39

Drew Bragg scored a game-high 16 points, Boston Kuhn had 13, and Jackson improved to 6-0, including 4-0 in the Frontier Athletic Conference with a 51-39 win over Miami Trace on Friday.

After scoring just one point in the first quarter, the Ironmen rebounded with 26 points in the second quarter, led by Bragg with 11 points, and Kuhn had nine to give Jackson a 26-16 lead at the half.

The Ironmen outscored Miami Trace 30-23 in the second half to cement their 51-29 victory.