Eric Jones

North's Eric Jones steps in between two defenders on his way to the basket during a game Monday against East Middle School. Jones scored 18 points in the 33-30 win.

The North Middle School Gators beat the East Panthers 33-30 at home Monday for their second win of the season.

The score was incredibly close throughout the contest with the Gators taking the lead for good in the final minute to pick up the home victory.

The Gators opened the game with a 7-2 run to take an early lead, but the Panthers went on a small run of their own to cut the deficit down to one point.

The Gators led 9-8 after one quarter.

The score was tied multiple times in the second quarter with the Panthers netting the final points near the end of the half to take the lead.

The Gators trailed 18-16 at halftime.

The Gators limited the Panthers to just three points in the third quarter which allowed them to take a slight 23-21 lead into the final period.

The Gators fell behind late in the fourth quarter, but Aiden Smith gave his team the lead in the final minute with a put-back layup to make it 29-28. The Gators were able to hold onto the lead with a few free throws in the closing seconds, and a half-court shot by the Panthers at the buzzer would fall just short as North held on to win by three.

Eric Jones led the Gators with 18 points for the game, followed by Smith with six points and Cason Eslick with five.

Willie Cobb scored three points and Jacob Hardison scored one.

With the win, the Gators improved to 2-1 on the season.

They will next play Monday at home against West Middle School. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.