Friday, December 23, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> JHS piles on JLC girls

Leader sports editor

The mercy rule was put into effect, but that was about all the mercy shown when the Jacksonville Lady Titans beat Jacksonville Lighthouse 100-15 at JHS on Wednesday.

Leading 82-13 at the end of the third quarter, Jacksonville High starters checked back into the game and continued fullcourt pressure for a little more than half of the fourth quarter en route to the century mark.

With the clock running and Jacksonville leading 95-15, the Lady Titan second string checked into the game with 3:30 remaining and continued with an extended defense.

The Lady Titans reached 98 quickly, but missed several shots before Sharonda Perry got a steal (the 37th of the game) and a layup to set the final margin.

Jacksonville coach Marian Kursh recently began to implement the pressure attack, and says Wednesday’s game was just an effort to improve defensively.

“We’re just trying to get better,” said Kursh. “We didn’t want to play on a lower level than we’re capable of. We have a tendency to do that depending on the teams we’re playing. We’re trying to work on everything and trying to get better. Our next game is a conference game, so that’s all we were trying to do.”

Jacksonville Lighthouse coach Chris Collier knew his team was overmatched, but was still disappointed in the effort his team gave. He was also unhappy that JHS continued to press a beaten team.

“A lot of it was on us because you should never stop playing defense,” said Collier. We’d lose the ball, after the first few times, we just started watching.

“On the other hand, I knew early in the third quarter she was just trying to score 100. There was no other reason. There’s good sportsmanship and there’s a lack of it, and that was a lack of it.”

The basketball sportsmanship rule states that if the point margin is 30 points or more in the fourth quarter, the game clock will run continuously, stopping only for timeouts and injuries. But there’s a built-in caveat that allows the continuous clock to start earlier if both head coaches agree to it.

Collier was asked if he wanted to run the clock the whole second half, but opted to wait until the fourth quarter. Jacksonville led 54-10 at halftime, and outscored Lighthouse 28-3 in the third.

“In hindsight I shouldn’t have done it,” Collier said. “My thinking was, we’re so inexperienced and inefficient at things, I wanted to get them as much time on the floor as possible. We don’t even have a full court to practice on 90 percent of the time. We have half a court and we don’t get to get up and down like we need to. But it was probably fruitless last night because we couldn’t even get into anything.”

Jacksonville scored the first 16 points of the game, including 10 by freshman Shymaryia Christopher.

Lighthouse got on the board with 2:31 left in the first quarter on a running floater by sophomore Amaya English. From that point, the two teams played almost evenly for the next few minutes.

After English’s basket, Jacksonville outscored Lighthouse 12-8 to take a 28-10 lead with about six minutes left in the second quarter. Jada Guy scored the Lady Wolves’ last basket of the half before the Lady Titans closed the second period with a 26-0 run.

The third period didn’t get any better for the visiting team. Jacksonville made it a 43-0 run by scoring the first 17 points of the third. When JLC’s Marla Dukes made 1 of 2 free throws with 3:11 left in the third, Jacksonville led 71-11.

Christopher and Dayzya Jordan posted double doubles for the Lady Titans. Christopher finished with 39 points and 11 rebounds. Jordan had 13 points and 11 steals.

Christopher and Perry each had seven steals while Alexis James had five for JHS.

Lighthouse only managed 16 shot attempts and committed 53 turnovers. The Wolves went 5 of 14 from 2-point range and 0 for 2 from outside.

Jacksonville went 40 for 92 from the floor, including 1 of 8 from 3-point range. The Lady Titans were 17 of 31 from the free-throw line while JLC was 4 for 6.

Jacksonville (8-8) outrebounded Lighthouse (1-15) 43-11.

JHS is off until Jan. 3 when it opens conference play at home against J.A. Fair. Lighthouse is off until Jan. 6 when it hosts Abundant Life.