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Lafayette Jeff girls grab early lead, hold off Frankfort at J&C Hoops Classic
November 18, 2012Lafayette Jefferson High School
Lafayette Jeff scored nearly half of its points off turnovers as the Bronchos held off Frankfort 43-32 in the consolation round of the J&C Girls Hoops Classic at Resler Gymnasium Thursday night.
The win puts Lafayette Jeff (1-2) in the fifth-place game at 4 p.m. Saturday against Central Catholic (1-2). The Hot Dogs (0-3) will face McCutcheon (0-3) for seventh place, also at 4 p.m.
The Bronchos, who hadn’t scored 30 points in losses to Western Boone and Harrison, pushed the tempo against Frankfort, forcing the Hot Dogs into 23 turnovers. Jeff scored 20 points off of those Frankfort miscues.
“We played at our speed tonight instead of playing at their speed,” said Aliyia Kind, who scored 13 points and led Jeff with seven rebounds and seven steals. “I knew the steals were coming, because they were stared down where the passes were going. Getting more than 40 points was very big for us.”
While Jeff shot only 31.1 percent from the field (14-45) compared to Frankfort’s 34.1 percent (15-44), the Bronchos made their shots count at the most critical times. After trailing by double digits most of the third quarter, the Hot Dogs cut Jeff’s lead to 30-22 on a Sam Henderson jumper.
Erin West stalled Frankfort’s potential rally by knocking down a 3-pointer on the Bronchos’ next possession with 2:30 left in the quarter.
“I knew it was really important to stay up so we can keep our momentum going,” said West, who topped all scorers with 14 points. “It was really important for us to pad our lead. It was nice to show what we’ve been practicing and working on.”
Frankfort, though, fought back with a Tania Olivas putback and a Henderson layup to cut the deficit to 33-26 with less than a minute left. Jeff’s Kaylee Simms, though, converted a steal into a Jeff basket while the Hot Dogs were maneuvering for the quarter’s last shot, pushing the Bronchos’ lead back up to nine, 35-26.
“We did not convert on that big possession at the end of the third quarter, and that was huge,” said Frankfort coach Andy Ross. “If we could have gotten that to four or five points, then that puts more pressure on them, and maybe they aren’t shooting those 3s so freely.”
Ross said it took his team a while to adjust to the physical play and pressure defense of Jeff. The Bronchos scored the game’s first seven points and cruised to a 15-5 lead after the first quarter.
“We haven’t faced that kind of pressure before,” Ross said. “They were big and strong and that was a new test for us. After the first quarter, we adjusted to how physical the game was.”
Frankfort played even with Jeff over the second quarter behind Henderson, who finished the game with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
A Mariana Boggs putback cut the Bronchos’ second-quarter lead to 19-13, but a Kind steal and basket followed a West 3-point shot, stretching the lead back up to 11 points. Jeff coach Geoff Salmon said he thinks Jeff’s offense will come around as it tries to eliminate its turnovers.
“We’ve been guarding very well and we haven’t given up over 38 points, yet we’ve lost games,” Salmon said. “When you look at how that’s happened, our shooting hasn’t been up to par, but the turnovers are what’s kept us from scoring.
“Those extra possessions are a big deal for us. The shooting is hard to fix. When you’ve got 22 empty possessions because of turnovers a night and you’re shooting poorly, that adds up to 26-point games. The thing I’m most proud of is that the things we’ve worked on after Monday night’s game, we improved on.”