The Jefferson Blue Jays Girls’ Basketball team were looking to bounce back in the consolation semi-final round of the Valley Caledonia Tournament after taking a tough loss Saturday to open their season. The Blue Jays took on the Bismarck Indians, who were also looking for their first victory of the year. The Blue Jays dominated the game on both ends from start to finish and claimed their first win over the Indians 54-20.
After taking a loss to open the Valley Caledonia Tournament, the Blue Jays found themselves in the consolation semi-finals facing off against the Bismarck Indians, a team that Jefferson is 5-0 against the last three seasons.
The history of Jefferson’s dominance over Bismarck looked like it was going to continue right out of the gate, with the Blue Jays opening the game on a 17-0 run in the first quarter. Six first-quarter points each from Seniors Laney Smith and Reagan Kennedy were massive in starting the game on such an impressive run.
Bismarck got some points on the board in the second quarter, but the Blue Jays offensive dominance continued, as they extended their lead to 36-7. Smith added five more points to bring her tally for the game to 11, while Junior Peyton Weiler had a big second quarter with six points.
Jefferson cooled off on offense in the second half, but its defense remained strong, allowing just 13 points in the fourth quarter and coasting to a 54-20 victory.
Jefferson’s head coach Zac McVey was happy with how his team has improved from their previous game.
“The half-court offensive execution looked much better tonight, even though at times we struggled to score on our first shot attempt,” McVey said. “The goal is to improve every day, and we did that. We’re taking steps in the right direction.”
Smith got off to a rocky start in her first game Saturday, scoring just four points, but Monday night, she showed why she was Jefferson’s leading scorer last season. Smith had a game-high 15 points, knocking down six shots, one of which was a three.
Another major contributor for the Blue Jays was Kennedy, the only other player to score double-digit points. Kennedy finished with 11 points, draining three shots, while also getting to the free throw line seven times, hitting five of them.
Kennedy said that the improvement from the Blue Jays first game was key in their victory on Monday.
“The team worked together and was able to fix a few things,” Kennedy said. “We were able to get good looks on the floor which hopefully we can take into the game on Friday.”
Catryn Cattoor and Weiler also had solid games for Jefferson, with both of them contributing six points. Cattoor knocked down one shot while going 4-4 from the free throw line, and Weiler had a big second quarter that saw her hitting three shots for six points.
With the win, the Blue Jays will advance to the consolation final of the Valley Caledonia Tournament to take on the Bourbon Warhawks (1-1). The Warhawks are coming off their first victory of the season, having taken down Valley Caledonia on Monday 39-24.