The new year has not been kind to the girls basketball squad from Jefferson R7. Since grabbing a third place finish at the FSCB Holiday Tournament, the Lady Jays haven’t been able to find their winning ways. Last week wasn’t much better for the girls as they took on Fredericktown and Perryville, but they’re showing signs of being on the brink of turning things around.
While the Lady Jays team started the game dead even with Fredericktown, a second half drought proved costly as they fell 56-37.
“Girls played a great first half. The defense was stellar, and we were able to execute on offense,” said head coach Zac McVey.
Coach McVey got a combined 13 points from Cattoor, Smith, and Kennedy in the opening quarter and looked at a 13-11 lead heading into the second quarter.
R-7’s defense was able to hold Fredericktown to just nine second quarter points, R-7’s offense also struggled to get into a rhythm; just six points were scored for R-7, three from Cattoor and three from Weile. The quiet second quarter would send the game into halftime with a 20-19 score in favor of Fredericktown.
The scoring struggles continued for R-7 into the start of the second half; they were held to just eight points in the eight minutes of play while Fredericktown answered with 17 points to extend their lead to 37-27 heading into the final eight minutes of play.
“Second half we went 5-6 possessions in a row in which we turned the ball over or didn’t convert from the field. I was proud of their effort,” said Coach McVey.
It was all Fredricktown in the final quarter; their offense continued to push as their defense held R-7 to just 10 points and eventually took the 56-37 win.
Jefferson moved on from a tough loss to Fredericktown and set their sights on getting a much needed win over Perryville.
The Jays battled out the first quarter against Perryville with Peyton Weiler leading Jefferson with four points. Weiler was backed up by Gabby Beffa and Catryn Cattoor, who combined for five more points. Yet, Jefferson found themselves going into the second quarter down 13-9.
Jefferson gave Perryville a dose of their own medicine taking the second quarter 13-9. Morgan Fuller hit two big shots from beyond the arc, as Laney Smith dropped three buckets and nailed a couple more from the charity stripe. Jefferson was in their groove heading into halftime all tied up at 22 apiece, with the momentum on their side.
As the third quarter got underway, it quickly became clear Perryville was going to take over. The Pirates defense was in shutdown mode and the offense was forcing Jefferson to make costly fouls. The Jays had Fuller drop two more from downtown in the third, but with only four other points scored, Jefferson found themselves down 42-31 dropping the quarter 20-9 and putting the game just out of reach.
The fourth brought much of the same for Jefferson, struggling to grow their lead as Perryville put another 12 points on the board. Fuller dropped another three ball with hopes of keeping up the Jays in it, but Perryville doubled them up taking a 12-6 fourth quarter advantage ending taking the game 54-37.
“Our team’s energy this week allowed us to put together two really strong first halves. Our ability to maintain this energy throughout an entire games will have a huge impact on this next week,” said Catryn Cattoor, who scored nine points.
“I think we had a great first half,” explained Morgan Fuller, who added in nine points. “There was lots of energy and we were having fun. But we struggled to keep our same energy going into the second half. I think mentally we’re ready to keep working until our season is over.”
After the game, McVey noted “The girls played a great first half. Unfortunately, it was more of the same this week with too many second half turnovers. We had another bad 3 minute spell where we turned it over and Perryville created easy layup opportunities. I thought the girls’ attitude and effort was outstanding tonight. The bench kept the energy level up and you could see a difference in how we were playing. We just have to find a way to eliminate that bad 3-4 minute lull in the second half of games. We’re taking steps in the right direction, we just have to learn to stay focused for four quarters.”
These girls aren’t defeated yet as their spirits are still high and ready to travel to Hillsboro to take on a struggling Hawks team this coming Monday. Both squads are in need of a win and this should make it one to watch. Tip-off is at 7 p.m., and you can watch the Live Stream on our site.