The Jamestown Community College men's basketball team (1-2) picked up its first win of the season on Wednesday night, but Coach Mike Cordovano wasn't sure the game was in the win column until the final seconds.
The Jayhawks never trailed against the Pitt-Titusville Panthers and led by double figures for most of the game. But there was a reason the 89-80 victory was never comfortable.
''Turnover, turnover, turnover,'' Cordovano said. ''We turned the ball over so many times, so it wasn't over until there were 28 seconds left and we were up by eight.''
Jamestown Community College freshman Elle Reed puts up a jump shot during Wednesday’s non-conference women’s basketball game at the Physical Education Complex. Below, JCC’s Tyreek Jewell drives to the basket during the men’s game. Reed finished with 18 points, while Jewell poured in 34 as the Jayhawks won both games. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photos by Jim Riggs
Fortunately, the final stat sheet wasn't available because Cordovano wouldn't have enjoyed looking at his team's turnovers totals.
''(Sometimes) we'd turned the ball over three times within a minute,'' he said. ''But to our credit, we made a couple stops at the end and made a couple rebounds and that was just good enough to win.''
For the third straight game, sophomore Tyreek Jewell led JCC in scoring, this time with 34 points.
''He's fun to watch, the kid scores every which way,'' Cordovano said. ''He used his athleticism and he jumped over people to pull down rebounds.''
But Jewell was also asked to do more.
''We've got to put a lot on that kid's shoulders,'' Cordovano said.''One of the things is handling the ball. He's a north-to-south player, a going-to-the-basket guy and he struggled (handling the ball). We've got to find other people to handle that ball against pressure. The kids kind of put it on T and he struggled.''
The first half was close for the first 13 minutes when the score was tied. But from that point, the Jayhawks outscored the Panthers, 17-7, with 10 of the points by Jewell, to take a 45-35 halftime lead.
That lead quickly evaporated when the second half began as Pitt-Titusville went on an 11-2 run to pull within a point. And the first three baskets came on baseline drives.
''I knew they were very athletic and boy did they go by us,'' Cordovano said. ''We couldn't keep them in front of us. They go to the basket a lot.''
But then just as quickly, the Jayhawks went on a 12-2 run and eventually opened up a 15-point lead with 9:50 left to play.
Jewell was still providing points from all over, but 6-foot-8, 265-pound Ohndo Smith was making his presence known inside with 10 second-half points.
But how did the Jayhawks stop Pitt-Titusville's baseline drives?
''I don't know if we truly ever did,'' Cordovano said. ''They got away from it and it seemed like they were looking more for the three-point shot that they weren't making. If they would have kept going to the basket that could have been a different ending.''
And when the Panthers missed the outside shots, JCC was able to get the rebounds, with quite a few by Smith. But again the Jayhawks began turning the ball over and three times Pitt-Titusville pulled within eight. Two times were after Smith, who scored 13 points, fouled out with with four minutes left.
JCC secured its win by scoring its final five points from the foul line.
The Jayhawks' other double-figure scorers were Jobse Reyes with 14 points and Jerome Jackson had 10.
Diante Lunsford had 26 points for Pitt-Titusville while Hiree Peoples had 17, Houston Dugan 11 and Kahson Abraham 10.
After playing three games in five days, the Jayhawks don't play again until Wednesday when they host Butler County CC at 7:30 p.m.
''This is really good early in the season,'' Cordovano said about a week between games. ''We got to play three games and now we can take a look at ourselves and see what we've got to work on.''
Lunsford 9 6-10 26, Zorrilla 0 2-2 2, Klenke 0 0-0 0, Abraham 3 2-4 10, Wheeler 1 4-6 6, Dugan 4 3-4 11, Davis 2 0-0 4, McCray 1 2-2 4,Peoples 7 3-4 17, Totals 27 22-32 80.
KJackson 3 0-0 6, JJackson 4 1-2 10, Reyes 5 4-4 14, Peck 1 2-4 4, Ferguson 2 0-0 4, Jewell 13 7-10 34, Williams 0 4-6 4, Smith 6 1-2 13, Totals 34 19-28 89.
Halftime-JCC 45, Pitt-Titusville 35. 3-point goals-Lunsford 2, Abraham 2, Jjackson, Jewell. Totals fouls-Pitt-Titusville 22, JCC 22. Fouled out-Dugan, JJackson, Smith.