SILER CITY — With a lack of early offense often causing Jordan-Matthews to face an uphill battle the rest of the night, Lady Jets’ coach Charles Byrd has preached to his team all year about the …
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SILER CITY — With a lack of early offense often causing Jordan-Matthews to face an uphill battle the rest of the night, Lady Jets’ coach Charles Byrd has preached to his team all year about the importance of getting off to a fast start.
So on Dec. 17 J-M answered his prayers by taking an aggressive stance against Carrboro from the outset, building a 12-point halftime advantage which it expanded to as much as 20 points at the beginning of the fourth quarter before holding off a late surge by the Lady Jaguars to capture a 43-38 non-conference victory in Frank N. Justice Gymnasium.
Snapping a seven-game losing streak, Jordan-Matthews improved to 2-7 for the season, whereas Carrboro sustained its seventh loss in eight outings.
Ellia Wright registered 18 points and a dozen rebounds while Makayla Glover chipped in 10 points for the Lady Jets, who shot 27 percent (16-of-59) from the floor but commanded a 42-31 advantage on the boards to help offset 26 turnovers.
Madison Wieboldt topped the Lady Jaguars with 13 points as the visitors from Orange County connected on 25 percent (15-of-59) of their field goal attempts while turning the ball over 19 times.
“I think our girls did a great job getting to the basket tonight,” said Byrd. “We utilized our forwards on the blocks, which gave the guards an opportunity to attack the rim. I feel like the ladies let off the gas mentally in the fourth quarter after taking a big lead as our intensity level dropped defensively and we suffered six turnovers in a row to let Carrboro back in the game. But I was proud how they recovered and held on down the stretch, which shows me they are learning to deal with adversity.”
Lady Jaguars’ coach Sheremy Dillard remarked her team didn’t change its approach on offense or defense throughout the contest, but the big difference was their shots just wouldn’t fall in the initial half.
“You’re not going to win when you only hit two-of-28 (seven percent) of your attempts from the field in the first half,” explained Dillard. “We had the same looks at the basket in the second half and finally got shots to fall while our defensive pressure eventually caused some late turnovers, but the hole we created early was simply too big to climb out of.”
J-M jumped out to a 9-0 advantage in the opening three minutes of play while Carrboro could only connect on one-of-12 of its attempts from the floor in the first period as Jordan-Matthews fashioned an 11-3 lead after one quarter.
The Lady Jets increased their advantage to 17-4 on Wright’s inbounds layup with 3:47 left in the second stanza before the Lady Jaguars whittled their deficit down to 20-8 at intermission.
Following Wieboldt’s lane jumper that closed the gap to 24-16 with 5:47 to go in the third period, Avery Headen and Glover combined for the last eight points in a 10-2 quarter-ending spurt that gave the winners a 16-point lead entering the final eight minutes.
After J-M stretched its advantage to 38-18 on a pair of Wright free throws a minute-and-a-half into the fourth period and still maintained a 41-23 lead following Jasmine Scotten’s layup with 3:59 remaining, Carrboro began capitalizing on Jordan-Matthews’ mistakes to reel off 13 unanswered points and pull within five with 1:43 left in the contest.
But the Lady Jets would then use solo free throws by Wright and Headen to counter a layup by the Lady Jaguars’ Riley Croasmun in the closing seconds to seal the triumph.