David Reeder

KANSAS - If the jam-packed seats at J.O Jones Gymnasium Tuesday night were any kind of indicator, folks from Jay and Kansas were ready for the commencement of basketball season.

And after trailing at the end of their respective opening stanzas, the Jay ladies never really recovered, while the Bulldog boys put on a big second quarter and never looked back.

In the first quarter of the opening contest the Lady Bulldogs suffered through a 2 of 12 effort from the floor and 3 of 4 from the free throw line.

And while taking a 12 to 6 advantage on the boards, Kansas got 8 points from Courtney Cowan to pace the Lady Comets’ 15.

In the next frame, Jay did a much better job in the rebounding department but were unable to score from the floor until the 2:20 mark of the first half.

In the meantime, Cowan put in 5 more to go with 4 each from Kortni Kendrick and Heather Marshall to take a 33-16 into the dressing room at half.

Following the break, Jay’s Carrie Kirby picked up 8 of her team high dozen points as the Lady Bulldogs put in 17.

While turning the ball over ten times the Lady Comets, anchored by 9 of Kelsey Barnwell’s game high 22 points, put 14 more on the scoreboard for a 47-33 margin with a quarter to play.

And after the Lady Comets buried their first 4 attempts from the floor, to start the fourth both teams went to their benches.

The Kansas ladies scored 20 more while the defense held Jay to 9 for the 67-42 final.

Steamed by a half dozen points from Shawn Turtle and 5 from Wade Lewis the Comets jumped out in front of their guests by a 13-8 margin to start the ensuing boys’ game.

But the Bulldogs didn’t stay down for long. Colton Benge scored 6 and was joined by 5 teammates to hang 18 points on their hosts over the next 8 minutes.

And while the Jay offense went to work, their defense, charged by Josh Ramsey, Chuck Larrabee and Mitch Goins, stoked the fire by forcing 8 Kansas turnovers and dominating the boards by a 2-1 margin.

Trailing 26-20, the Comets came out of the dressing room and knocked down 4 of their first 6 attempts from the floor and promptly tied the affair up.

But five Bulldogs got together to outscore Kansas, 12-7, down the third quarter stretch, to retake the lead.

With the Comets down by 5, Corey Cowan put in 6 of his game high 16 points. And on the heels of Cowan’s no look, over the back bucket, Kansas had pulled within 2 of a tie.

But with a key basket by Tyler Buzzard in tandem with 9 from Larrabee and 5 by Ramsey, the Bulldogs went on to their best scoring quarter of the night and the 8 point road win.