Waynesville tops Lady Jays

Kile Brewer

Jefferson City Lady Jays coach Dan Ridgeway had a simple explanation of what happened Saturday afternoon.

“They did exactly what we thought they would do and we didn’t do a very good job of stopping them from doing what they wanted to do,” Ridgeway said after Jefferson City dropped a 54-44 decision to the Waynesville Lady Tigers at Fleming Fieldhouse.

What Waynesville wanted to do was get the basketball inside to Kallie Bildner. The 6-2 sophomore finished with just three baskets, but she set up camp at the free-throw line, converting 13-of-16 from the stripe for a game-high 19 points.

“We couldn’t let (Bildner) catch the ball on the block and the one thing we did do was let (Bildner) catch the ball on the block,” Ridgeway said. “Then we’d foul her and she’d make her shots.”

Foul trouble plagued the Lady Jays from the start. Sidney McMillan, a starting player inside, was whistled for two early fouls and spent much of the first half on the bench.

“She does a little bit of everything for us and that took away from what we were trying to do,” Ridgeway said.

Then Nicole Martin, another Lady Jay starter inside, picked up her second foul in the second quarter and joined McMillan on the sideline. Jefferson City finished with 26 fouls in the game to 12 for Waynesville.

“The foul situation was a direct relation of how we were playing defense and how we were playing offense,” Ridgeway said.

The Lady Jays did a good job of getting the ball inside early to Martin, who had six first-quarter points. A 3-pointer by Kaley Ruff that beat the buzzer gave Jefferson City a 9-6 advantage heading into the second period.

But, according to Ridgeway, the ball didn’t go inside enough the remainder of the half.

“We were stagnant, not moving enough on offense, not attacking the basket,” he said. “We were taking it inside early, but we stopped looking inside.”

Waynesville outscored Jefferson City 12-6 in the second quarter to take a 19-15 lead into intermission.

The Lady Tigers began to pull away in the third quarter, leading by as many as seven points before holding a 31-25 advantage with one period remaining.

Waynesville shot 25 free throws in the fourth quarter, hitting 18 to ensure the victory.

One thing Jefferson City did better in the second half was find Megan Foster on the offensive end. The sophomore scored all of her team-high 16 points in the final two quarters after getting just three shots in the first half.

“We’ve got to do a better job of recognizing when to get her the ball,” Ridgeway said.

Martin added 12 points for Jefferson City, while Ali Haug totaled a team-high five rebounds.

Bildner finished with a double-double for Waynesville (7-9), pulling down 12 rebounds. Hannah Bland added 17 points for the Lady Tigers.

The 54 points are the most allowed in a game this season by Jefferson City.

“We can’t afford to give up that many points,” Ridgeway said.

The Lady Jays were without Kezia Martin, their only senior starter. Saturday’s game was a makeup because of weather and the track and field standout had already scheduled a visit to Iowa State.

Jefferson City (8-9) is back in action Monday at home against Helias. A freshman game will start the action at 4:30 p.m., followed by the junior varsity at 6 p.m. The varsity contest should begin around 7:30 p.m.

In Saturday’s JV game, Jefferson City posted a 40-18 victory against Waynesville.

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