By Charlie Chitwood
Mother Nature may have crowded the Jefferson High basketball schedules over the past week, but Jefferson’s girls got on a roll in winning three games in six days against District 16-3A competition. The victories over Ore City (last Thursday), Beckville (last Friday) and Harleton (Tuesday night) lifted the Lady Bulldogs record to 23-5 overall and 9-1 in district.
Jefferson’s win streak – following the Lady Bulldogs only district loss to Elysian Fields – comes at a good time. Friday’s game at White Oak is huge – the Lady ‘Necks have lost only to Elysian Fields and in Jefferson (58-47), putting them one game behind the Lady Bulldogs. Jefferson can solidify its grasp on second place and remain within a game of the front-running EF Lady ‘Jackets.
Tuesday evening’s 58-48 victory over visiting Harleton saw Jefferson with a balanced scoring attack behind Deivya Hodge and Elaina Langbartels. Hodge posted a game-high 22 points while Langbartels was next with 16, including a pair of first-quarter three-pointers that helped Jefferson take an early 15-9 lead.
Hodge hit two three’s of her own in the second quarter as Jefferson constructed a 28-20 halftime lead, then scored 11 more second-half points as the Lady Bulldogs eased away with a 13-point third quarter lead and the 10-point final. Harleton made it interesting down the stretch and closed within six points, but Jefferson’s lead held intact after the Lady Wildcats won the fourth with a 17-14 edge.
The Lady Bulldogs spread their scoring around the floor behind the two leaders – Jamya Smith hit six free throws while Ja’Kayla Jones hit a couple and nailed a three-pointer for five points. Nia Garrett and Tierra Hines both added three points while Hannah Welch and Mikiah Allen added buckets for two points apiece.
Harleton was led by Tyler Mobley’s 15 point night with Katelynn Smith (13 points) and Hanna Watson (10 points) reaching double-digits as well.
Friday’s game at Beckville was a grinder that went into overtime before Jefferson emerged with a 51-44 win. The Lady Bulldogs gave up a five-point fourth quarter lead but ripped past their hosts 11-2 in the extra period, picking up their second win in as many nights.
Langbartels had the big night against the Lady Bearcats, posting 23 points on nine field goals with three treys in the mix. Jamya Smith added 10 more – and went six-of-six at the free throw line to lead the rest of a team that saw every player contribute to the scoreboard.
Jefferson led 13-5 after the first and 19-6 at the half. A 14-12 third quarter had the Lady Bulldogs ahead 33-28 entering the fourth but Beckville’s Mia Mize went off for nine of her team-high 18 points to rally the Lady ‘Cats into overtime, 44-44.
Nia Garret added five points as the only other Lady Bulldog with multiple baskets.
Thursday evening in Jefferson, the Lady Bulldogs made quick work in doubling-up Ore City early, then hung on in the second half for a 51-44 snow-day delayed victory. Hodge led Jefferson with 17 points and Ka’Kayla Jones reached double-digits again with 10.
Jefferson was up 10-5 at the end of the first and led 28-13 at halftime before the Lady Rebels stormed back with a 19-15 advantage in the third. Jefferson’s 43-32 lead entering the fourth took another four-point hit but held for the decision.
Hodge had two three-pointers amongst her six field goals and three made free throws.. Jones found six of her 10 points at the line while Jamya Smith (eight points) and Langbartels (six points) leant support. Mackenzie Jordan tallied five more for Jefferson while Nia Garrett (three points) and Hannah Welch (two points) chipped in as well.
Following Friday’s game in White Oak, Jefferson returns home for a Tuesday night home game with New Diana.
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