The Community R-VI Lady Trojans participated in a tough Sturgeon Tournament field last week and left with a Consolation Championship trophy. In spite of battling South Callaway’s two 6’ tall post players, Samantha Jackson and Ashley Steele played taller than they are to help the Lady Trojans in their battle with the Lady Bulldogs.
Community R-VI trailed 8-6 at the end of the first quarter before rallying to take a 20-19 halftime lead.
The Lady Trojans outscored South Callaway 30-21 in the second half to hold on for the 50-40 victory.
“Big key to the game was how our back line played defensively,” said Community R-VI head coach Bob Curtis. “…I challenged them in practice on Thursday to not give up second chance points and to keep the ball out of the paint. Sam Jackson’s fantastic effort giving up about 7” to her opponent was inspiring and a big reason we won. This team is starting to really finish games well hitting free-throws and taking care of the ball which is a major improvement as opposed to the beginning of the season where we lost some close games because of decision-making. It looks like we might be playing a best basketball here at the end of our season. Sophomores Samm Jett and Danielle Brooks have become a tough tandem to guard with Jett’s ability shoot from the perimeter and Danielle’s ability to get to the rim.”
Jett scored a team-high 16 points while Brooks added 13 points and four steals.
In the consolation semifinals the Lady Trojans defeated a talented Westran team that nearly upset New Franklin in the first round.
Community R-VI held a 22-21 halftime lead.
No team held a lead by more than five points through most of the game before the Lady Trojans pulled away late, outscoring Westran 19-11 in the final quarter.
“We knew going in it was going to be a battle after watching Westran almost upset New Franklin on Monday, who is 17-0 this season,” Curtis said. “…Westran is a young team that is getting better every time they take the floor. We have a rematch with them on February 15 at MACC, which should be a nail biter.”
Jett led the Lady Trojans with 26 points, five rebounds, and three assists. She made three 3-pointers and made 11-of-15 free throws.
“Samm Jett had a monster night…,” Curtis said. “(It was the) best game she has had in a Trojan uniform.”
Brooks scored six of her 15 points in the fourth quarter. She also had five assists.
“I thought her decision making late helped us pull a tough win out,” Curtis said. “Sometimes it is hard to believe she is just a sophomore.”
In the first game of the tournament, the Lady Trojans’ offense was only able to score more than 10 points in a quarter one time as they lost 40-36 to New Bloomfield.
While the offense struggled, the defense held New Bloomfield to nine points or less in three quarters in the loss.
“Defensive struggle all night as both teams did a nice job denying the other team anything easy,” Curtis said. “We had the lead a couple times but could never keep it and did not make good decisions in the first quarter offensively as we forced the action to much.”
New Bloomfield made 15-of-22 free throws in the victory.
Emmalee McCoskey led Community R-VI with nine points, 10 rebounds, and two blocks. Amelia Knipfel had eight points and three steals.