Lady Jays fall short to Thunder Ridge
The St. John's Tipton Lady Blujays traveled to Kensington to take on the state ranked Thunder Ridge Lady Longhorns who had home court advantage. They are an undefeated team who possess size, experience, and team speed.
The Lady Longhorns used their advantages on their way to a 58-48 victory over the St. John's/Tipton. To the Lady Jays credit they wouldn't let their opponents pullout to a big advantage. They hung in there, and for a time it looked like they might actually defeat the lady Longhorns after playing outstanding defense.
The game started with a three pointer by the Lady Longhorns. Caitlin Strong answered with a conventional three-point play and Lauryn Dubbert hit a basket that gave them a brief 5 -3 lead. Thunder Ridge then went on a 13 point run giving them a 16-5 lead. Dubbert and Strong added points at the end of the first quarter, as the quarter ended with St. John's/Tipton trailing 18-10.
The second quarter opened with the Longhorns gradually adding to their lead. At one point they led 26-13, but the Lady Jays wouldn't go away as Dubbert added six points off a free throw, a two point and three points shots. Strong contributed a pair of baskets cutting the margin to 28-20. The first half ended with Dubbert landing her two free throws with a halftime score of 31-22.
The second half started with the teams essentially trading baskets. Dubbert connected on three baskets to start the third quarter for St. John's/Tipton cutting the margin to 36-28. The Lady Longhorns scored seven straight points to push their lead back to 15. The Lady Jays then scored five straight points with a basket by Tara Ellenz and free throws by Strong and Dubbert. The third quarter ended with Thunder Ridge leading 45-33.
The Lady Longhorns pushed their lead to 17 at the start of the fourth quarter with a three pointer and a basket. Dubbert added a pair of baskets to cut the lead to 14. After a three-pointer by the Longhorns, two free throws by Strong and Ellenz cut the margin to 12. Thunder Ridge then scored five straight points to push the lead back to 17, with the Lady Jays trailing 58-41.
St. Johns'/Tipton scored the last seven points of the game as Erica Brummer stepped to the line for two free throws, Strong added a free shot and Dubbert two before Ella Wiles scored the last basket of the game closing out of 58-48 victory for the Lady Longhorns.
"This was a tough game and I thought our girls came out ready to play," said Lady Jay Coach Leah Bergmann. "They started out a little tight but eventually settle down in the second quarter and really held their own against a very good Thunder Ridge team. I thought our defense played really well tonight. We got the ball quickly and our ball pressure was very effective in creating disruption and getting turnovers. I was very pleased with how our girls worked hard and never gave up."
The Lady Jays were once again led in scoring by Lauryn Dubbert with 27 points. She was joined in double figures by Caitlin Strong with 13 points. Tara Ellenz had 4 points, Erica Brummer had 2 points and Ella Wiles had 2 points.
With the loss St. John's/Tipton Lady Blujays record stands at 10-3 on the season. They are off tonight (Friday) since Wilson doesn't have enough players, but they will play a makeup game Monday, Feb. 10 at Hill City.