ADAIR - Jay Lady Bulldogs head coach Terry Sweeney may not have been happy with his team's first round win over Caney Valley at the Adair Invitational Monday, but his squad is moving on to the semifinals nonetheless.
After leading by as much as 13 in the second half, the Lady Bulldogs just did manage to hold off Kendra David and the Lady Trojans for a 47-43 victory.
The Bulldogs had no such trouble with the Salina Wildcats, turning in a dominant fourth quarter to turn a tight game into a 51-34 win.
Both teams will play in the semifinals at Adair High School on Thursday. The girls will play Salina, while the boys will play Caney Valley.
The Lady Bulldogs (2-2) fell behind 17-12 after one quarter as David, who finished with a game-high 20 points and nine rebounds, scored eight in the opening period.
Jay countered with an 11-0 run in the second quarter to take a 23-17 lead with two minutes left before halftime before settling for a 25-21 lead at the break.
Laura Whiteley led a balanced offensive attack with eight points for the Lady Bulldogs, who got a somewhat-unexpected offensive boost from Megan Edge, who scored eight of her team-high 12 points in the first half.
After the Lady Trojans (0-4) got within one a minute into the third period, Jay went on a 15-3 run to take their largest lead of the game at 40-27 with less than two minutes left in the quarter.
Caney Valley would close the period with a 7-2 run to get within eight, then began to chip away in the final eight minutes. After committing 22 turnovers in the first three quarters of the game, the Lady Trojans turned the ball over just three times in the fourth.
The Lady Bulldogs did themselves no favors by missing three of their four free throw attempts in the final quarter, including the front ends of two one-and-ones.
However, Jay managed to do just enough to keep the Lady Trojans at bay and move into the semifinals.
"I thought it was a game of spurts," Sweeney said. "We would play really well, then we'd be satisfied and stop playing with the same intensity. Instead of being satisfied we needed to stick it to them."
David repeatedly burned the Lady Bulldogs with drives to the basket in leading the Lady Trojans to the near comeback.
"We needed to do a better job with our help defense," Sweeney said. "We did it at times and that's when we would go ahead. Other times, we just stuck too close to their other players."
Anesa Towsing added 10 points for the Lady Trojans, who will play the loser between Salina and Westville in a consolation matchup Thursday afternoon.
In addition to Edge's 12 points and five rebounds, Megan Ritter had 10 points, four rebounds and four assists. Whiteley and Shalesah Myers each finished with eight points for Jay.
Bulldogs 51, Salina 34
Jay used a pair of dominant defensive quarters to shake off a stubborn Wildcat squad in their first round game.
Salina scored four points each in the first and fourth quarters, the final one proving fatal to their upset chances.
Jay, meanwhile, got a steady 22 points and eight rebounds from Jared Sloan to pull away for the win. Sloan started out with eight points in the opening period as the Bulldogs (3-1) surged to an early 14-4 lead.
Salina fought back in the second quarter with three players combining for 15 points to cut the lead to 23-19 at the half.
Neither team could find the range in a low-scoring third quarter in which the two teams combined for just 13 points, but six straight points from Kyle Kirby in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter provided Jay with a 40-31 lead.
Sloan would follow with a three for a double digit lead and the Bulldogs never looked back.
Taylor Foster added nine points and five rebounds for Jay.