Special to the Grove
JAY - In order to win Friday night at Bulldog Arena, a team had to play all four quarters of the game. And the Lady Bulldogs and the Comet boys found that out the hard way, as an anemic stanza from each would prove costly.
In the evening’s opener Jay jumped to an early 5-0 lead. The Lady Comets got back into the thick of things with six unanswered points that prompted a Bulldog timeout. Following the stoppage, Jay’s offense, anchored by seven Laura Whitely points and a pair of Lauren Wilson treys went on a 10-4 run to close out their first.
Kansas’s Kelsey Barnwell, with a pair of steals and nine of her game high 21 points, kept her team within striking distance with a 15-10 score to start the second. And with the commencement of the subsequent quarter, Jay continued to keep the pressure on. The Lady Comets didn’t connect on a shot from the field until Courtney Cowan’s three-pointer midway through the second. Meanwhile, with five of Megan Ritter’s team high 17 to go with four from Carrie Kirby and three more by Wilson, the Lady Bulldogs put another dozen on the scoreboard. Despite some poor shooting, including 4 of 9 free throws, the visitors dominated the boards by a 9-3 margin, to stay within a half dozen during the intermission.
Following the break, Jay turned the ball over seven times, while shooting a tepid 4 of 13 from the floor, for their lowest scoring frame of the game. And by the time the pivotal third quarter was concluded, Barnwell had tallied six more, to go with five more from Cowan to move the Lady Comets to within one with a quarter left to play.
In the final period the Lady Comets retook the lead for the first time since the opening quarter, when Barnwell got a driving bucket in the lane at the 6:40 mark. The Lady Bulldogs continued some cold shooting and finally got a bucket to drop with 2:45 to play.
Cowan picked up another pair of treys to go with five more Barnwell points to pull their team ahead by six.
But a pair of empty trips down the court and some more dicey Kansas free throw shooting kept Jay in the thick of things. A Laura Whitely three-pointer pulled the Lady Bulldogs to within a bucket and forced a Comet timeout with 24 seconds remaining. Kansas managed to pull ahead by four on their next possession, but Jay wasn’t going to go down without a fight. With the final seconds ticking off the clock, Ritter buried a long three-pointer that brought her team within one with 1.9 seconds to play. The Lady Comets managed to get the ball down court, killing the clock and preserving the 50-49 victory.
In the latter tilt, the two boys’ squads traded the lead seven times in the first six minutes of play. Despite turning the ball over six times, the Comets dominated the boards by an 8-2 margin. And by the end of the first, the visitors had parlayed Corey Cowan’s five points with three apiece from Brett Odle, Tyler Lankston and Ethan Fausett into a 16-12 lead.
In the subsequent stanza, the Bulldogs forced nine more Kansas turnovers on defense, but missed on their first six tries from the floor. When Jay’s offense finally kicked in Kyle Shambaugh had posted five of his team’s dozen second quarter points. But with seven and six points, respectively, Cowan and Fausett scored all 13 of the Comets’ tallies, to extend their lead to 29-24 at the break.
Following the intermission, Cowan added seven of his game high 21 points, that, in addition to a pair of Fausett field goals, accounted for most of the Comets’ 15 third quarter points. Six Bulldogs joined forces to score 15 of their own, to stay within five of their guests.
The final quarter, as in the third period of the lady’s game, would prove to be the definitive segment of the contest. Even with starter Chucky Larrabee sidelined by an ankle injury for the second half, Jay put together their best quarter of the game. Shooting 11 of 14 from the charity stripe for the period, the Bulldogs went on a 5-0 run to start the fourth to tie things up a 44 each. The Comets struggled with a 1 of 7 shooting performance, but still were able eventually retake the lead by a 49-46. But that would prove to be the last hurrah for Kansas as Jay’s Brent Smoke put in six of his team high 13 points, to go with five by Shai Jones off of the bench and four from Tyler Buzzard. And by the end of the fourth, the Bulldogs had outscored their guests by an 18-10 margin, to claim the hard fought come from behind 57-52 win.
Kansas 50, Jay 49 (Girls)
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
KHS 10 11 14 15 50
JHS 15 12 9 13 49
K: Barnwell 21, Cowan 17, Marshall 6, S.Warren 4, Blackwood 1, Proctor 1
J: Ritter 17, Wilson 14, Whitely 10, Kirby 8
Jay 57, Kansas 52 (Boys)
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
KHS 16 13 15 8 52
JHS 12 12 15 18 57
K: Cowan 21, Fausett 13, Odle 6, Cochran 4, B. Kendrick 4, Lankston 4
J: Brent Smoke 13, Shambaugh 12, Jones 8, Larrabee 5, Ramsey 5, Edge 4, Buzzard 3, Brett Smoke 3, Sloan 2, C.Smoke 2