The Jamestown Community College women's basketball team moved its record to 3-0 in their home opener on Wednesday night, but it wasn't easy
The Jayhawks held a 21-point lead over the Pitt-Titusville Panthers (0-3) with 15:21 left to play, but the visitors didn't panic.
With 28.5 seconds left, the JCC lead was down to one point, 68-67. And with about eight seconds left, Pitt-Titusville missed a shot in the lane to take the lead.
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
Jamestown Community College women’s basketball coach George Sisson exhorts his team during Wednesday nights’ game, which was played the day after his father, George, passed away. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Jim Riggs
Then with one second left, Akiah Luceus of the Jayhawks sunk a pair of free throws to lock up a 70-67 victory.
''We kind of played tonight like we practiced last night,'' JCC coach George Sisson said. ''We were a little flat coming off the road trip (of two games in a tournament at Corning CC on Saturday and Sunday). You've got to remember we played three games in five days. I've got a lot of (former) high school girls who don't play three games in two weeks.''
The team has also been practicing for a couple of months and then had scrimmages.
''We've been going,'' Sisson said. ''I gave them a day off on Monday and Tuesday we came back and just didn't have a very good practice. You have to play with emotion. Boy, we played tonight like we practiced last night - a little lackluster.''
There was plenty of other emotions involved because Sisson was coaching the day after his father had passed away.
''I think they were sensitive to the stuff I've been going through for the last 30 hours or so,'' he said about his players. ''I tried like heck last night (Tuesday night at practice) to be normal.''
And Sisson had no thoughts of not coaching his team on Wednesday night.
''My dad taught me a lot of things and one of them was to work hard and be responsible for what you're being responsible for,'' he said. ''If I would not have coached tonight or would not have been at practice last night I don't think that would have been honoring what my dad had taught me. ''
He added about coaching the game, ''It was good. I'm emotionally tired after five or six days of a tough situation with my dad. I hope my girls didn't feel my persona. I know that they wanted to win for me.''
It looked like winning wouldn't be a problem in the first half.
After Pitt-Titusville got off to an early 3-0 lead, JCC came alive with 10 straight points, six by Brook Draggett and four by Elle Reed. The Lady Panthers pulled within four, but again the Jayhawks went on a run with nine straight points, started with a 3-pointer by Taylor Storer, for a 21-8 lead with 6:28 left in the first half.
Pitt-Titusville was staying within striking distance, but in the final three minutes of the half, JCC outscored the visitors, 11-6, for a 39-23 halftime lead.
The Panthers made a 3-pointer just before the buzzer and made another earlier in the half just before the shot clock expired. Sisson noted without those, the JCC lead could have been even larger.
The Jayhawks steadily increased their lead in the opening minutes of the second half as Reed hit a 3-pointer and a 2 and Draggett hit two more buckets.
When Sydney Milliman sunk a free throw with 15:21 left to play, the JCC lead was up to 54-33.
Then the Lady Panthers began whittling away at their deficit.
They began practically strolling down the lane for layups. Then they went to the outside game.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Samantha Marak cut the JCC lead to 79-70 with seven minutes left.
A couple of minutes later, the Lady Panthers had 3s by Wendi Walsh and Damond Ware to cut the margin to six, 61-55, with 4:50 left.
''They did some things against us offensively (that they didn't do in the first half),'' Sisson said. ''They spread the floor out. They dribble drove; we let them go down the middle.''
And as for JCC's offense, he said, ''We didn't get people the ball in the area of the floor where we can be successful. I know we we didn't get enough shots for Elle and we missed I don't know how many bunnies.''
The Lady Panthers finally pulled within one, 68-67, when Tenasia Law converted a three-point play with 28.5 seconds left.
Then came the visitors' missed shot in the lane with seconds left and then Luceus hit her two free throws with a second remaining to give the Jayhawks a three-point victory.,
''We did make two great stops at the end of the game,'' Sisson said. ''To their credit, they did it.''
Reed led the Jayhawks with 18 points while Luceus had 13 and Storer 11.
Pitt-Titusville was led by Law with 22 points. Ware and Walsh had 12 each and Marak 10.
JCC is back in action on Saturday with a game in Pittsburgh at the CC of Allegheny County at noon. Sisson will be attending his father's funeral, so assistant coach Travis Wells will coach the Jayhawks.
''Travis will take them on Saturday and the girls will do a wonderful job and play hard for us,'' Sisson said. ''They'll take care of that responsibility while I take care of my family responsibilities.''
On Jan. 10, 2002, Wells coached JCC to a win at Niagara County CC in place of head coach Keith Martin, who sat out the game on day that his daughter was born.
Ware 5 0-0 12, Walsh 5 0-0 12, Koonooka 0 0-0 0, Yuhas 0 0-0 0, Morant 4 1-5 9, Marak 3 2-5 10, Law 9 4-5 22, Totals 26 7-15 67.
Storer 3 4-6 11, Milliman 1 1-2 4, Reed 8 1-2 18, Miller 1 0-1 2, Clark 1 0-0 2, Sands4 0-1 8, Draggett 4 0-0 8, Luceus 4 5-6 13, Totals 27 13-17 70.
Halftime-JCC 39, Pitt-Titusville 24. 3-point goals-Ware 2, Walsh 2, Marak 2, Storer, Milliman, Reed. Totals fouls-Pitt-Titusville 17, JCC 17.