Sometimes, it’s just not your night. The Jefferson girls varsity basketball team experienced that on Tuesday at the Valley Tournament. The Blue Jays were dominated by the West County Bulldogs by the tune of 74-29, evening the Jays’ record to 1-1 on the season.
“We put ourselves in a huge hole right out of the gate by turning the ball over and giving up easy baskets,” head coach Jason Dreyer said after the ballgame. “It’s hard to start a game that way against a good team and try to get back in it.”
Is it ever. The Bulldogs were relentless, running out to a 20-11 lead in the first quarter, and just blowing away Jefferson in the second quarter, outscoring the Jays 27-8. At halftime it was 47-19, and any hopes of a Jefferson comeback were pretty much put to rest. “We did not not do a very good job handling the ball, and we had a difficult time breaking their press,” senior Abi Chipps pointed out. “We were forcing passes that just weren’t there. We needed to make smarter, quick passes and use ball fakes.”
Scoring was obviously limited for Jefferson. Laney Smith managed ten points, eight coming in the first quarter. She had two three pointers. Chipps contributed six points, while Sydney Stewart and Brittany Bittick chipped in with four points each. Bittick drew praise from her coach. “Brittany came in and did a great job tonight, Dryer commented. “She came in and gave us some energy on both sides of the ball.” Bittick was happy to answer the call. “It’s great to watch us piece together what we have learned over these past few weeks,” she said. “Turnovers were definitely one of our struggles during this game, but we didn’t keep our heads down. When I went out there, my goal was to keep the energy up. I didn’t really meet my personal expectations with how I played, but I am happy I could contribute. I can’t wait to play them again at our first home game and give it another shot.”
Catryn Cattoor had three points, and Emma Earls finished with two points to round out the scoring.
Coach Dreyer pointed out there’s always another game on the horizon. “The good thing is on Thursday, we have a chance to play Lesterville and get a third place trophy, which would be a great way to start off the season.” That game tomorrow begins at 4:00 p.m.