Lady Jays get past Spartans in double OT

It wasn’t always pretty.

But the Jefferson City girls basketball team found a way to get the job done.

The Lady Jays rallied from an 11-point deficit midway through the third quarter and held on to claim a 60-57 win against Battle in double overtime Thursday night at Fleming Fieldhouse.

“We kept fighting,” Jefferson City coach Dan Ridgeway said. “We had a very intense discussion at halftime about things that needed to happen and the girls came out and responded.”

The Lady Jays (9-14) were just 11-of-29 from the free-throw line, but knocked down five from the charity stripe in the last 40 seconds to hold off the Spartans and snap a seven-game losing streak.

“It wasn’t pretty, but it’s a win and we haven’t had one of those in long time,” Ridgeway said. “It sure feels good.”

Jefferson City sophomore Megan Foster scored a game-high 22 points and knocked down two free throws to give the Lady Jays a 58-53 lead with 36.7 seconds left to secure the win.

Kaley Ruff added 11 points, while Nicole and Kezia Martin both chipped in with 10 to help pace Jefferson City, which forced 19 turnovers.

“We can’t outscore people on a nightly basis,” Ridgeway said. “We have to play with defensive intensity for all four quarters. We did a lot better job of that in the second half. That’s how we have to play. We’re a grind-it-out kind of team.”

Jefferson City trailed 25-14 at the half and 31-20 with 3:30 left in the third quarter, but the Lady Jays were able to pull within three to open up the final period of regulation to keep their hopes alive.

Foster knocked down a 3-pointer to tie the game at 40 with 2:12 remaining in regulation, and Jefferson City opted to hold the ball for one last shot.

The Lady Jays were able to get to the free throw line with 18.7 seconds, but missed both attempts to give the Spartans a chance to win it.

Instead, Battle missed the front end of a one-and-one with 3.1 seconds left to send the game to the first overtime tied at 40.

Jefferson City had another chance to win it in the first extra period, but failed to get a shot off before the buzzer, sending the game to double overtime tied at 48.

It didn’t matter.

Ellie Johnson scored 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, while Mariah Brisco added 16 points and Mouton finished with 11 to lead Battle, which was 19-of-42 from the field and 16-of-23 from the free-throw line.

The Lady Jays’ JV team rolled to a 33-13 win in the opener. Lexy Haug scored 14 points to lead Jefferson City.

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