By Jim Riggs
Tuesday night's NJCAA Division II women's basketball game between the Jamestown Community College Jayhawks and the Lakeland CC Lady Lakers began at 5:30 p.m. But it appeared the visitors from Kirtland, Ohio, thought the game started at 5:40 p.m.
Akiah Luceus brings the ball up the court during Tuesday night’s NJCAA?Division II?basketball game.
Lakeland was held scoreless for the first 9 minutes of play while JCC jumped out to an 18-0 lead. When the Lady Lakers finally scored, they ran off seven straight points. They managed to pull within 10, but could never get closer as the Jayhawks (12-3) recorded a 76-52 win.
After the 18-0 start for JCC, things were rather even as the Jayhawks outscored the Lady Lakers, 54-52, the rest of the way.
''I think the hardest thing to do in sports is to play with a lead,'' JCC coach George Sisson said. ''But that 18-0 run, that was beautiful. They (the Lady Lakers) were not able to pass the ball a second time or even a first time. We looked very mature defensively in that first 10 minutes.''
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He added, ''Even though we played to a tie game the rest of the game, boy that 18-0 run was perfect because it was predicated off our defense. Defense can come every day. Jump shooting might be off some day, turnovers might be off some day, defense you play every day. That was really a mature defensive look that we put on them for that first 10 minutes.''
When JCC jumped out to its 18-0 lead it was a team effort. Six Jayhawks scored during the spurt and only two scored more than once.
''I thought we did some things on the floor tonight offensively, too,'' Sisson said. ''We moved the ball, we shared the ball, we ran the floor, we made good decisions.''
In that 18-0 run, Elle Reed had eight points, including two 3-pointers.
Melanie Primer scored Lakeland's first basket with 11:26 left in the first half and that started the visitors on a 9-2 run. With 3:10 left in the half, the Lady Lakers pulled within 10, 29-19, after back-to-back buckets by Primer.
''In that stretch where they made that run at us I would still take a lot of the shots we had, we just didn't finish them,'' Sisson said.
At halftime, JCC led, 37-23.
The Jayhawks opened the second half with eight straight points to open up a 22-point lead, but Lakeland responded with its own eight-point streak.
It remained that way throughout the second half with the Jayhawks leading by 20 or more thanks to their 18-0 start.
Lacey Clark led JCC with 16 points and seven rebounds. Reed had 14 points and Taylor Storer finished with 12 points, nine assists and six rebounds.
Corri Hannon was the rebounding leader with eight.
Jessica Alexander had 15 points for Lakeland (3-8) while Primer had 13 and Nicole Upshaw 12.
The next action for JCC is on Jan. 7 at Lorain County CC in Elyria, Ohio, at 5 p.m.
''Whenever you're playing well you don't want a break,'' Sisson said. ''When you're playing bad you want a break. It's their job now, they know what they need to do in the days off. They've set the table; 12-3, that's a pretty good start.''
Flanigan 0 1-3 1, Upshaw 3 6-10 12, Elkins 3 0-0 6, Alexander 7 0-3 15, Haggins 0 1-3 1, Lozancic 2 0-0 4, Walsh 0 0-0 0, Primer 6 1-5 13, Totals 21 9-24 52.
Storer 3 6-7 12, Milliman 3 1-2 8, Reed 5 2-2 14, Miller 1 3-4 5, Clark 5 6-10 16, Sands 2 3-4 7, Draggett 4 1-3 9, Luceus 2 1-2 5, Hannon 0 0-0 0, Law 0 0-0 0, Totals 25 23-34 76.
Halftime-JCC 37, Lakeland 23. 3-point goals-Alexander, Milliman, Reed 2. Totals fouls-Lakeland 22, JCC 20. Fouled out-Upshaw, Primer, Luceus.