By Jim Riggs
The Jamestown Community College Jayhawks had a nice offensive performance on Tuesday night with 82 points. But Coach George Sisson would prefer to talk about his team's defensive showing in the second half against the Erie CC Lady Kats.
Taylor Storer of Jamestown Community College scored all 16 of her points in the second half during Tuesday's NJCAA Region 3 Division II women's basketball game. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Jim RiggsTaylor Storer of Jamestown Community College scored all 16 of her points in the second half during Tuesday's NJCAA Region 3 Division II women's basketball game. See additional photos at cu.post-journal.com.
P-J photo by Jim Riggs
After holding a slim 38-37 halftime lead, JCC shut down Erie in the second half. The Lady Kats were held to only 12 points, which included only two field goals, as the Jayhawks rolled to an 82-49 NJCAA Region 3 Division II win.
''I just thought defensively we cleaned things up in the second half,'' Sisson said. ''We came in at halftime and said, 'OK, listen. We fouled people to death and we put them on the foul line and they were getting 'and-ones.' I want to change up the way we're guarding them because I think we can be stronger.' So we went out and changed up what we did defensively and we stayed in front of people better, gave them one shot, at best, and it was out and that allowed us to run again.''
He added, ''We run pretty good. Not just my guards, but my bigs.''
And the Jayhawks ran to their seventh straight win for a 13-3 record and 1-0 in the region. Erie, the defending Region 3 Division II champion, is 8-8 and 1-1 in the region.
JCC hadn't played since Dec. 17 and Sisson was concerned when a game the previous Tuesday was postponed.
''It was almost a month without a game and it was hard in practice,'' Sisson said. ''(Assistant coach) Travis (Wells) and I walked out on the floor and said, 'Well, let's see how the first five minutes go. This could be ugly.'''
It was anything but ugly.
See JCC, Page B2
From Page B1
It took only 2:35 for JCC to jump out to a 13-0 lead thanks to three 3-pointers by Elle Reed, who finished with a game-high 23.
''It just felt really good,'' Reed said about her first 3-pointer. ''The last few nights I had not been shooting so great. But it felt good when I let go of the first one and it was going in. I knew it was going to be a good night.''
She went 3-for-3 from behind the line in the opening minutes.
''My high school coach (Mel Swanson at Sherman) always told me that if you make one, try to take another one quick because players usually get on a roll,'' she said. ''I guess I did.''
Everything was clicking for the Jayhawks while the Lady Kats appeared to be a step behind.
Erie finally scored its first basket with 14:40 left in the first half and that got the Lady Kats rolling as they ran off seven straight points. JCC managed to get its lead back to 11, but again Erie came back and used a 15-5 run to pull within one, 25-24, with 5:20 left in the half.
The Kats eventually tied the game at 31 on a couple of free throws by Kimberly Vega with 1:43 left and by halftime JCC was clinging to a one-point lead, 38-37.
''I said there are three things we want to be committed to tonight,'' Sisson said. ''The first one is we need to raise our level of intensity, excitement and play like your hair's on fire. You've got to be an energy giver, not an energy taker tonight. The second thing is we have to play with composure. You have to be composed. Thirdly, we had to be committed to rebound.''
And that's had happened for a while.
''We jump out to an 11-point lead and what happens?,'' Sisson asked. ''We miss three layups, we have two or three turnovers. They come back and they start dribble driving and next thing I look up and it's tied. We had lost our energy, we lost our composure and we gave up second, third and fourth shots on some of possessions when they came back. Fortunately we weathered the storm and got through the half. ''
But then a different JCC team came out in the second half, mainly defensively.
Just like at the start of the first half, the Jayhawks scored 11 straight points in the opening five minutes. And seven of the points came from point guard Taylor Storer, who was scoreless in the first half. She went on to score 16 points and also collected 10 assists.
''I might have lulled them to sleep a little bit,'' she said. ''I came out a little stronger because I knew I had to step it up for my team.''
And her coach enjoyed it.
''She was a point guard-scorer in high school,'' Sisson said. ''She doesn't have to do that here to be a great player. She needs to have 10, 11 assists; she has to run the floor. I was really proud of her. She was terrific.''
And so was the defense.
Again, like in the first half, Erie didn't score until 14:46 was left to play. But there was no comeback this time.
JCC ran off eight straight points before the Lady Kats scored again. Eventually, JCC was scoring five or six points to every one or two by Erie as the lead steadily increased in the 20s and reached its peak at the end with a 33-point margin.
Akiah Luceus hit double figures with 10 points for the Jayhawks and also had 10 rebounds to join Storer with a double-double. Brook Draggett had nine points and eight rebounds.
Erie's leaders were Vega and Crystal Marion with nine points each.
JCC returns to action on Thursday at 6 p.m., in another Region 3 Division II game at Monroe CC.
Hall 1 1-2 3, Verse 1 5-6 8, Pace 0 0-0 0, Dunbar 3 0-0 7, Ballard 0 0-0 0, Onipede 0 0-0 0, Hodges 3 1-2 8, Vega 2 5-5 9, Marion 4 1-1 9, Rabar 1 3-4 5, Totals 15 16-20 49.
Storer 6 2-2 16, Milliman 1 0-2 3, Reed 8 3-3 23, Miller 1 0-1 2, Clark 2 2-2 7, Sands 2 0-1 4, Draggett 3 3-4 9, Luceus 4 2-2 10, Hannon 3 0-1 6, Totals 30 14-20 82.
Halftime-JCC 38, Erie 37. 3-point goals-Verse, Dunbar, Hodges, Storer 2, Milliman, Reed 4, Clark. Totals fouls-Erie 16, JCC 21.