Tuesday, January 31, 2017

SPORTS STORY >> Lady Titans roll, boys’ rally falters

Leader sports editor

Jacksonville picked an easy road win on Friday at J.A. Fair. The Lady Titans took control early and hammered the Lady War Eagles 69-29.

The JHS boys weren’t as fortunate; suffering 62-51 loss to a Fair team it had beaten at home earlier in the season.

In the girls’ game, Jacksonville’s defense forced the Lady Eagles into several turnovers while allowing few shot attempts. The Lady Titans led 15-2 at the end of the first period, but fouls began to mar the game.

Jacksonville could have made things even easier had it shot better than 15 of 29 from the foul line.

Fair was called for 20 fouls and Jacksonville 18 over the course of the game. The Lady Eagles were even worse - much worse - hitting just 3 of 20 free throws.

Jacksonville continued to forceturnovers in the second period, and began shooting better as well. The Lady Titans scored 22 points in the second, and took a 37-11 lead into the locker room at halftime.

By the end of the third, that margin was up to 57-21, and the sportsmanship rule was invoked for the fourth quarter.

Jacksonville scored 33 points off J.A. Fair’s 27 turnovers, and scored 52 points in the paint. Allison Seats led the Lady Titans with 15 points. Martina Knight and Shy Christopher added 10 apiece while Shartorria Briggs and Sharonda Perry each posted eight points.

Jacksonville improves to 11-14 overall and 4-5 in the 5A/6A Central Conference. J.A. Fair drops to 2-17 and 0-8.

In the boys’ game, the War Eagles were on fire from outside, especially in the early going. Fair’s Khyron Gilbert made four 3-pointers by himself while Jacksonville struggled from the floor.

The War Eagles built a 28-13 lead at halftime, and that stretched to as much as 20 in the third quarter before the Titans made a run. But it was too big a hole to climb out of in so little time.

When the two teams met earlier in the season, Jacksonville (13-9, 4-4) trailed by nine with about two minutes left, only to rally for the victory. But Friday’s deficit was too large, and J.A. Fair (13-7, 4-4) was still making enough shots late to hold on to the victory.