J-M goes to 5-0 past improving Lady Falcons
SANFORD - By the last couple minutes of Monday night's girls basketball contest at Lee Christian, defending NCHSAA 2A state champion Jordan-Matthews (5-0) had an easy victory in hand. The Lady Jets pulled away in the second half, finding enough offense to break up a defensive struggle for a 43-23 win.
Last season, the Lady Jets routed Lee Christian 68-9. While the first loss this season for the Lady Falcons (4-1), Monday's setback might have shown how much Lee Christian's improved more so than its opening winning streak.
Lee Christian battled the Lady Jets, forcing 28 turnovers on the night and holding the reigning state 2A MVP, Jet forward Mylia Garner, to 10 points while making it tough on all the Lady Jets.
With a basket by Makalia Gillum and a pair of free throws by Whitney O'Quinn, Lee Christian held a 4-2 lead 4:30 into the game. Jordan-Matthews led 8-6 after the first period.
O'Quinn made a lay-up, after a scrambled loose ball near midcourt went the Lady Falcon way, to bring the Lady Falcons within a point, 10-9, early in the second quarter.
The next scoring play was Lady Jet Kaitlin James driving inside for a three-point play with a little more than three minutes left. A 13-9 Lady Jet led stayed put to halftime.
The Lady Jets began taking full advantage of Lee Christian's turnovers and asserting themselves around the hoop during an 18-4 advantage in the third period. Garner and center Erin Bristow scored six points each in the period.
The Lady Falcons scored the first six points of the fourth quarter cutting the Lady Jet lead to 31-19.
A four-point possession by J-M, with a lay-in by Odyssey Dunn as she was fouled, then Bristow getting the board and a basket off of Dunn's missed free throw, took the lead to 37-20 with 4:08 left to play.
Garner, who's signed a National Letter of Intent to attend and play at Charlotte next school year, tallied 12 rebounds and four steals with her game-high 10 points.
O'Quinn led Lee Christian with nine points and five steals. Gillum, going up against J-M's bigger frontcourt, had six points, eight rebounds and five blocks. Haley Draughn added five points.
The Jets (5-0) flew out to a 15-0 lead four minutes into the boys contest at Lee Christian and went on to a 70-19 win over the Falcons (0-4).
Llamar Snipes knocked down left-wing triples on the first two Jet possessions of the game. The Jets led 25-2 after the first period and played their second- and third-string players most of the last three periods.
Braxton Diekhoff led the Falcons with six points. Christian Perkins added four points. Christian Natale had three assists.
Josh Hudson led the Jets with 11 points and five rebounds. Snipes and Cyrus Scotten scored 10 points each.