RUTLEDGE – Jefferson County head coach Jeremy Byrd said he wanted his Lady Patriots basketball team to become more balanced on offense and in Tuesday’s game against the King’s Academy, they responded.

Ten different Lady Patriots scored as Jefferson County rolled to a 55-27 win over the Lady Lions at the Pizza Plus Thanksgiving Classic at Grainger High School. They improve their record to 3-1 on the season.

“I have been focused on trying to get more balance in our scoring and I have come to the conclusion that if we get three people in double figures, we will have a chance to win every game. That means we aren’t turning it over and we are getting good shots,” Byrd said.

Kali McMahan led Jefferson County with 20 points and Byrd said that after a bit of a slow beginning to the contest, his team picked up the pace. “We started out slow on offense because I thought we were taking too many shots. I want a quick shot but I don’t want just one shot coming from the perimeter. Their size hurt us early on but as the game wore on, the amount of depth we had wore them down.”

The score at the end of the first period was more reminiscent of a baseball tally than a hoops one as the Lady Patriots led 5-1. The Jeff County defense didn’t yield a field goal until the 4:42 mark of the second period. McMahan was the go-to player in the second frame as she scored nine points.

After building a 24-9 lead at the half, the Lady Pats kept the defensive pressure on in the third period and built a 17-point lead on Caroline Loveday’s late basket. Jeff County opened the fourth with a flurry and put the game out of reach when they scored 10 unanswered points. Kamry Bowlin and Lilly Beth Johnston each had a shot from down town in the 10-0 explosion. TKA was never able to recover as the Lady Patriots ran on to the 55-27 win. “I was proud of the way we played in the fourth quarter and really, the whole second half,” Byrd said.

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