By Matt Hill
The JCMS Girls Varsity Basketball Team showed on Monday night just how much it has improved in two weeks.
After being blown away by Hampton just two weeks ago, the Lady Longhorns played very respectably with the Lady Bulldogs in a 36-21 defeat at JCMS.
Take away a 10-1 run by Hampton to end the game and JCMS was right there with the Dogs the whole way.
Hampton is a traditional power in girls basketball and the Lady Longhorns did play very well.
However, JCMS head coach Greg Reece is tired of moral victories.
We are proud of the way they played, he said. They played really good defense and we switched some things up and Mary Beth Taylor did a good job of calling offensive plays, but we are so tired of moral victories. We played so hard against Cloudland and so hard tonight. We just feel these teams are not that much better than we are. It turns on missed shots here and there and missed free throws.
We didnt shoot well in the fourth quarter and part of it was our legs were tired. We have a decent rotation, but when we had to play some pressure defense it kind of limited who we could have in there at the time. Their defense took away the drive on the top of the key. Hats off to Hampton. They played really good defense at times and just enough to prevent us from doing what we wanted to do.
JCMS hit some early shots and took an early lead, letting Hampton know it was in for a battle.
The Lady Longhorns started off both halves well, but it was the second and fourth quarters that doomed JCMS.
JCMS was beat bad in Hampton a couple of weeks ago, but this time showed no signs of being intimidated.
The Lady Longhorns let it be known that they were a better team now than just two weeks ago.
The girls have resolved that they want to get over this nervousness they have to begin the games and thats what killed us early in the year. We played much better tonight against Hampton and last week against Cloudland. These two teams were probably as good as well probably see, Reece said.
Scoring: Mary Beth Taylor 9, Hope Nelson 7, Cindi Edington 3, Amber Morefield 2.
Junior Varsity Girls
The Lady Longhorns played much better this time than they did two weeks ago against Hampton, but still fell short.
Though the score may not indicate it, JCMS ran their offense better and increased their point production from three to 13.
The Lady Longhorns gave a much better overall effort and coach Greg Reece was very pleased.
We played much better tonight than we did the first time against Hampton, he said. The first time we went down there we scored only three points and tonight we played much better offensively. We were getting shots off tonight and that made a big difference.
Scoring: Jayme Jennings 5, Courtney Wilson 4, Kelsie Terrill 2, Kelsey Duperry 2
Junior Varsity Boys
JCMS played very well defensively, but couldnt muster enough offense to pull out the win.
The Longhorns rallied from a six-point fourth quarter deficit and the Longhorns put up a shot that would have given JCMS the lead and probably the win in the final seconds, but it was just short.
Hampton was fouled and two made free throws sealed the deal.
The Longhorns used a great night inside from Cody Bailie to stay in the game, but the offense just wasnt clicking enough to give the Longhorns the victory.
The shots didnt fall and the guys got kind of nervous on the press; the press just tore them up, JCMS Coach Bones Grindstaff said. Hunter Tester came in off the bench and played well, we just didnt handle the pressure tonight.
Grindstaff was proud of the effort his team gave.
I have nothing bad to say, he said. Hampton played a great game. Our boys fought hard from the beginning to the end. We missed a few lay-ups, but they played hard.
Scoring: Cody Bailie 11, Aaron Steele 5, Brandon Vannoy 2, Hunter Tester 2
The Bulldogs avenged a loss earlier in the month to the Longhorns and they did it by being physical.
In a game dominated by fouls and whistles, the Dogs forced JCMS into foul trouble and the Longhorns dug a hole they couldnt get out of it.
After leading 22-20 at halftime, the Bulldogs dominated the second half as they shot very well and the Longhorns were forced to play catch-up.
Hampton led 39-28 at one point and increased its lead to 46-34.
The Longhorns gave a great effort, but the shots didnt fall at key times.
JCMS suffered its second straight loss, as it fell to Cloudland last Monday.
The Longhorns get a rematch against the Landers on Saturday in what is really a must-win game for JCMS.
J.R. Speed was a major bright spot for JCMS, finishing with 17 points.
Scoring: Chase Phillips 9, J.R. Speed 17, Scottie Tester 2, Jordan Grubb 4, Gregory Roark 6, Jeffrey Brooks 4.