A CASE of season-opening jitters wasn’t severe enough to prevent a season-opening win.
Skylar Evanson scored 16 points and Bailey Boyd added 12 as Jefferson (1-0) rallied past Heritage 46-41 with a strong second half in the opener of the Tabo’s Tip-Off Tournament in Jefferson. Click here for Jefferson basketball pictures.
“We had early game jitters, that kind of thing,” sixth-year coach Jason Gibson said. “It was the first night, a lot of people here. It was a good crowd. I think our kids were nervous. They were excited about starting the season.”
Boyd scored all of her points in the second half while Evanson picked up 11 of her 16 after halftime.
Those shots weren’t falling early on.
Jefferson — which was slated to play Mountain View this past Tuesday night — fell behind 23-11 at one point in the first half before trailing 23-15 at the break. The Lady Dragons converted just 7-of-16 first-half free throw attempts and hit only three shots from the floor.
But the Lady Dragons found their scoring touch after halftime.
“We just told them at half time, ‘Guys, we’re doing exactly what we want to do. Let’s just go out and do it a little bit better,’” Gibson said.
Jefferson scored the first 10 points of the third quarter, capped by a basket and free throw from Boyd, to give Jefferson a 25-23 lead. Combined with their final two baskets of the first half, the Lady Dragons scored 14 straight points to overtake Heritage. Heritage reclaimed the lead at 31-30 heading into the fourth but Jefferson outlasted the Lady Patriots in the final period.
Boyd tied the game at 33 and Evanson followed with a three-pointer to put Jefferson up 36-33. Heritage answered with a basket, but Jordan Phillips nailed a three-pointer to open up a 9-4 run and the Lady Dragons held on for the victory.
“Jordan probably hit the biggest shot of the night,” Gibson said.
The coach said he was ‘proud of our kids for pulling it out.’”
“Heritage is a quick team,” Gibson said. “They’re athletic … Our kids battled and hung in there. I was proud of the way they played the second half. It was nice.”