Lady Ringnecks fly past Blujays for the win

The first game of 2018 for the St. John's/Tipton Lady Blujays was held at Hill City, Kansas, to challenge the Lady Ringenecks.

Hill City possesses a quality team highlighted by outstanding guards, noted for their quickness on defense and their ability to hit outside shots, especially three-pointers. The Lady Jays also possess quality guards. 

Friday night saw both teams play to their strengths. The difference in the game was that the Lady Jays lacked their usual inside scoring while the Ringenecks scored there outside points in the form of three- pointers from unexpected sources. In a low scoring game where both defenses played outstanding basketball, Hill City used their home court advantage on the way to a 35-21 victory.

The game opened with both teams concentrating on playing defense. The first half saw neither team score in double digits.

and the Lady Jays started with three free throws as their only points in the quarter. Hill City only managed a pair of free throws and a pair of baskets claim a 6-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter was similar to the first. Only this time the roles were reversed as the Ringenecks scored a three pointer as their only points of the quarter.  With 2:49 seconds left in the first half the Lady Jays scored there first basket of the game by Avery Gates. A free- throw and a Lauryn Dubbert two point shot completed the first-half scoring with Hill City holding a 9-8 lead.

The Lady Jays continued their scoring run as they started the second half with the first nine points to claim 17-9 lead.The Lady Ringenecks retaliated as they hit four straight three pointers along with a conventional basket to end the third quarter, leading 23-17.

The fourth quarter opened with the teams trading baskets. The Jays trailed 26-21 early in the quarter, but, then they went cold and failed to score another point. Meanwhile, the Lady Ringenecks closed out the game with a nine point run, claiming the 35-21 win.

"I thought we came out and played a lot of grit throughout the game against a very good Hill City team," said Blujay Coach Keith Kresin. "Avery Gates did a great job on defense against their top scorer. In the first half, we had good defensive intensity and we held a very good team, only nine points. But, in the second half they pushed the ball more and hit some shots. We struggled all night long hitting shots and we were forced to shoot quicker because of their defensive intensity. Even though we lost, we got better in all aspects of the game. We've just got to be more consistent and be ready to play each and every game."

The Lady Jays were led in scoring by Lauryn Dubbert with 9 points with 6 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal. Avery Gates scored 7 points, with 2 rebounds, 1 assist; Kara Eilert 4 points, 10 rebounds, 1 steal; Elle Eilert  1 point, 10 rebounds; Emily Eilert 1 rebound; Erica Brummer 1 rebound.

The loss leaves the Lady Blujays with a 5-2 record going into Tuesday's contest at St. John's High school gym when they host the Osborne Lady Bulldogs.

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