JEFFERSON CITY — Dobyns-Bennett came into Friday night’s game against Jefferson County undefeated, including two wins in the Bahamas with the final scores being 71-9 and 61-5. The Lady Indians scored over 50 in five of their victories to open the season.
However, the Lady Patriots didn’t get the memo that they were supposed to lay down against D-B.
Jefferson County allowed just four first quarter points and 35 in total, a season low for Dobyns-Bennett, as late free throws sealed a 50-35 win for the Lady Patriots at Jefferson County.
“It was a really good win,” Jeff County coach Rick Sinard said. “I thought we all played well defensively and offensively against their zone. We got some good easy looks. I’m proud of them. That’s one of the hardest four quarters that they have played in all the nine years I have been here.”
Alexa Gramann led JCHS with 15 points while Cayla Smith had 14 points and drained three 3-pointers. Jefferson County had just five players score, but all five were the starters for the Lady Patriots.
The Jefferson County defense led the game from the very beginning, forcing a 10-second violation minutes into the contest. D-B scored the first two points of the game, but that was their only field goal of the quarter.
While the Lady Indians had a size advantage with Jabrea Johnson, Jeff County continually denied her the ball. Johnson had all four points in the quarter, but didn’t score again until the final minute of the third quarter.
“We struggled a little with (Johnson) in there, but Kali (McMahan) still battled,” Sinard said. “I think she is growing up. I was really proud the way she beat and banged with that girl the whole night. That takes a lot out of you.”
JCHS led 10-4 after one quarter and pushed the lead to 12-4 before Megan Ayers hit three 3s in the second quarter to cut the lead to 22-20 at the half. D-B led 20-19, but Smith hit one of her threes with 10 seconds in the half. The Lady Indians never led again.
The defense continued its rampage in the third quarter, allowing 11 points. However, despite pushing the score to 32-25 on a Gramman layup plus foul shot, the Lady Patriots led by just four going into the fourth quarter.
Four quick points tied the game up in the fourth, but Jeff County’s free throw shooting proved to be the difference maker. The Lady Patriots hit 11 free throws in the final frame, and the defense forced turnovers down the stretch to give JCHS the win. Makayla Alvey led the way in the fourth quarter, going on a 5-0 run in a tie game to put the lead out of reach.
“The last couple of days, we’ve had girls staying and getting reps on free throws, and you have to make those if you want to let the air out of it,” Sinard said. “And we did tonight.”
The Lady Patriots will be back in action next Friday as they take on Morristown East. The girls game tips off at 6 p.m. at Jefferson County.
“I think they’re growing up,” Sinard said. “We still have some things to clean up, like critical turnovers when you don’t need to be turning the ball over and just getting a shot. But where we’re at now, we’re getting better each day. I’m certainly proud of them.”