The Bartow High School boys basketball team is, well, very talented. The team is crushing their opponents.
Last Friday night the Jackets traveled to Lake Region High School to compete in their first district game of the season.
It was ugly early, often and ended with a running clock. The mercy rule was used to stop from any unnecessary embarrassment to the home team. However, it did not stop the home team from being, well spirited in the second half. The game could not end fast enough for either team. Eventually, the final buzzer sounded with a 69-23 Jacket triumph. The win raised the BHS record to a perfect 7-0 on the season (1-0 in district play).
Chris Perry led Bartow with 22 points on the night.
Tuesday night the Jackets took on Haines City for their first home contest at The Hive.
The game in the first half went back in forth like a tennis volley that seemed to never end. The Jackets found themselves down 35-33 at the end of the first half.
As was the case earlier in the year against Lake Wales, the Jacket fans just knew the team would come roaring out of the half and take control but that never materialized.
The Jackets stayed within striking distance, down 60-52 with less than five minutes to go in the game.
Karlos Odum made two free throws for the Jackets, making the score 62-59 with 3:27 left in the game.
After a Haines City miss, Perry got fouled underneath with 2:58 left. The first free throw tickled the twine as did the second one. This cut the lead by the visiting team to one, 62-61.
That’s as close as the Jackets would get as Haines City would hit their free throws and Bartow did not. When the final buzzer sounded, BHS was on the short end of a 70-67 score.
Missing free throws has been the biggest problem for Bartow. Against Haines City it finally caught up with them. The Jackets better fix this quickly if they have aspirations of a title run.
The Jackets took on George Jenkins Friday. The game ended after the print deadline. After Christmas, Bartow heads to Atlanta to take on some of the countries best high school teams. They return to Polk County on Jan. 4, as Lakes Wales comes to the Hive looking for revenge on their 71-51 defeat earlier this season.