Jefferson senior Jasmine McDougall challenges the shot of Parkway’s Cami Hellwarth during Friday afternoon action at the Chatt Insurance Holiday Tournament at Parkway High School. Jefferson knocked off the Lady Panthers, 49-40. (Times Bulletin/Pat Agler)
By Jim Metcalfe
ROCKFORD — Once Jefferson’s girls basketball team got the lead with 2:34 left in the opening period, they would not let it go, holding off host Parkway 49-40 in the fifth annual Chatt Insurance Holiday Tournament held Friday afternoon at Parkway High School.
“This was one of the most consistent games we’ve played all year overall. We usually have one really bad quarter but we didn’t have that today,” Jefferson mentor Dave Hoffman noted. “I felt we had good ball movement against their defense and the shots were in the scheme of the offense. We had very few one-pass-and-shoot possessions.”
The Lady Panthers struggled from the field against the mixed Jefferson defenses, shooting 15-of-54 from the floor (1-of-9 beyond the arc) for 27.8 percent.
Something else left Parkway head coach Lynn Hughes disappointed.
“We had no effort, no enthusiasm, no intensity, nothing. I don’t know why,” she explained. “We’ve had an entire week of great practices: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. We gave them Christmas Day off, but this performance was totally unexpected. We did not play today like we practiced all week. I told the girls beforehand that we were going to need to play with heart, but we didn’t.”
In the first 5:26 of the contest, there was a pair of lead changes as both teams struggled finding the range. There was also one tie: 9-9 at 2:46 on a three-point field goal by Parkway’s Kayle Heckler. However, when Jefferson senior Rileigh Stockwell drove baseline for a deuce at 2:34, that gave the Wildcats (3-6) an 11-9 edge. Stockwell followed with another basket and Jefferson led at the end of one.
The second period was a tight affair, with Parkway winning the quarter 10-9. The Panthers (3-5) got within 16-15 on a basket by senior Cami Hellwarth with five minutes left but they could not regain the lead. A foul line jumper by freshman Sarah Gehron with 40 seconds on the board got the Panthers within 23-21.
As well, Jefferson 6-2 junior Shelby Koenig came off the bench to put together an unconventional double-double with an astounding 11 blocked shots and 10 rebounds, neutralizing the inside game of the Panthers.
Parkway was not about to go away in the third quarter, twice getting within a point. However, the Wildcats moved out to a 33-26 edge on a three-ball by junior Brooke Culp. Hellwarth’s late free throws brought Parkway to within 34-30.
After Heckler put back a miss just 46 seconds into the fourth period, Parkway was within 34-32. However, the Lady Wildcats had an 8-2 run in the next three minutes to grab their biggest lead of 42-34 on a three-point play by Stockwell. Jefferson salted the game away by hitting 6-of-8 from the line down the stretch.
“I don’t know what our single-game block record is but Shelby was huge off the bench tonight. She basically shut down their inside game, which allowed us to extend on their shooters a little bit more,” Hoffman added. “Defensively, we went to a 1-3-1 zone the second half to cut off Hellwarth’s penetration and we got a handle on her. Our rebounding as well was pretty good. We had good contributions from everybody we played, especially the bench, which is what we need.”
“Every time we threatened to take the lead, we’d make a crucial mistake — usually an unforced turnover — or not hit a shot,” Hughes added. “We got the ball inside but we didn’t adjust to the way the game was being called. I told the girls at halftime that they had to use shot fakes and such to get the big girl off her feet but we kept doing the same thing and the same result occurred.”
Score by quarters
Jefferson 14 9 11 15 – 49
Parkway 11 10 9 10 - 40
Heather Pohlman 0-0-0, Brooke Culp 3-0-8, Lindsay Deuel 0-0-0, Katie Goergens 5-2-14, Rileigh Stockwell 4-8-16, Gabby Pimpas 3-1-7, Shelby Koenig 1-0-2, Jasmine McDougall 1-0-2. Totals 13-4-11/19-49.
Cami Hellwarth 4-3-11, Sarah Gehron 1-1-3, Tori Rutledge 0-0-0, Kayle Heckler 2-2-7, Lydia Heindel 2-1-5, Ashlynn Henderson 0-0-0, Terra Walls 2-2-6, Sierra Fent 4-0-8. Totals 14-1-9/12-40.
Three-point goals: Jefferson, Goergens 2, Culp 2; Parkway, Heckler.