DANDRIDGE – Back-to-back games, the Jefferson County girls basketball team has struggled to score the basketball.
On Tuesday night against Morristown West, the Lady Patriots scored eight points in the first half, and the game went to double overtime. On Friday night against Sevier County, after getting to a quick start, Jeff County had just eight points in the third quarter and seven in the fourth.
However, despite the lackluster offense, the Lady Patriots came out of the week with two wins. The Lady Pats staved off a late Sevier County comeback on Friday night, defeating the Smoky Bears 39-34 at the Jefferson County gym.
“We’re winning ugly, and they know that, but what this is doing is making us tough and resilient,” Jefferson County coach Rick Sinard. “Give Sevier County credit. They did a good job running their offense. We just made enough plays.”
Makayla Alvey led the team with 10 points and was honored after the game for scoring her 1000 th career point against Upperman on December 30 th. Kali McMahan and Alexa Gramann each had nine points as well.
It wasn’t just offense for Gramann either. Gramann kept the lead for the Lady Pats in the game with her offensive rebounding ability. Gramann got rebound after rebound and had multiple second chance baskets.
“Alexa played well tonight,” Sinard said. “She came out and finished some good baskets and got some rebounds and got them back in.”
It started off quick for the Lady Pats with Alvey draining a 3-pointer to start the game. After a brief tie, the only tie of the game, Jeff County broke out to an eight-point lead after one quarter.
While only scoring 10 in the second quarter, the Lady Pats kept their lead to seven at the half. The Lady Pats did a good job of getting the ball down low to McMahan, who had seven points in the half.
Coming out of the half, Sevier County threw a zone at Jeff County that confused them and threw them out of their offensive rhythm. Alvey hit two free throws and a basket to build the lead to nine an then two more free throws, but the Smoky Bears slowly crept back in the game. The lead was down to five after three quarters.
In the fourth, Jefferson County continued to struggle, and their lead never got above six. With two minutes to go, a 3-pointer had the lead down to two. However, Madee Denton and Alvey made free throws down the stretch as the Lady Pats found a way to win.
“It sure does give me confidence to still win while not playing our best,” Sinard said. “You really want to play good come tournament time. Hopefully, we will do that when it matters. Normally, I play seven to eight girls, but I have been playing more here recenty.”
With the win, Jefferson County improves to 14-3 on the season and undefeated, 6-0, in conference play.
Jefferson County will be back in action on Tuesday night for another conference game, this time against Seymour. The girls game tips-off at 6:00 p.m.
“I’m proud of my girls,” Sinard said. “We have to keep working hard. We have to get better tomorrow than we are today. They’re just a good group and are fun to work with. The journey has been good, and we just want to keep it going.”