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story.lead_photo.caption Sakkyra King of the Jefferson City Lady Jays leaps to shoot the ball during Monday night's game against the Helias Lady Crusaders at Fleming Fieldhouse. Photo by Claire Hassler

With the recent stretch of bad weather, the Jefferson City Lady Jays had more than a week to think about their first loss of the season.

But they weren't dwelling on it heading into Monday night's game against the Helias Lady Crusaders at Fleming Fieldhouse.

"We were just trying to get back into the swing of things," Lady Jays coach Brad Conway said after Jefferson City topped Helias 60-41. "For all four quarters, we had good energy and intensity. We didn't play great in all four quarters, but the effort was there."

Jefferson City used a pair of runs — an 8-0 spurt early and a 12-3 edge late — to take a 25-11 lead after the first quarter.

"It got away from us a little bit in that first quarter," Helias coach Alan Lepper said. "But the girls responded with what we wanted to do in the second quarter and in the second half."

Hannah Nilges had 11 first-quarter points for the Lady Jays, while Sarah Linthcum added nine.

The Lady Crusaders got as close as seven points in the second quarter, that coming at 26-19 after a 3-pointer by Kylie Bernskoetter with 3:03 left before halftime.

Helias was 3-of-6 on 3-pointers in the second quarter.

"Helias knocked down some shots, they were catching and shooting," Conway said.

Nilges hit two free throws with :12.2 remaining to give Jefferson City a 32-22 advantage at intermission.

"We gave them a couple of extra possessions in the second quarter where they did a good job of hustling and getting rebounds to get some points," Conway said.

Jefferson City outrebounded Helias 9-3 in the first quarter. Helias turned the tables in the second quarter with a 9-7 edge.

The Lady Jays started the third quarter on a 9-2 spurt, capped by a three-point play from Hannah Linthacum that gave Jefferson City a 41-24 lead with 4:43 left. The Lady Jays took a 50-31 lead into the fourth quarter.

"We treated this like a bounce-back game, we needed to get out there and do the things we're capable of doing," Conway said. "We did that tonight."

Lindsey Byers scored a game-high 20 points for Helias, while Bernksoetter chipped in with 16.

"We're never pleased with a loss, but in the long run, I think we took a step in the right direction," Lepper said. "It may have been a little one, but it was a step."

Helias (6-8) will host Ozark, ranked No. 8 in Class 5, on Thursday. The JV game will start at 5 p.m., with the varsity contest to follow around 6:30 p.m.

Nilges paced three Lady Jays in double figures with 15 points. Sarah Linthcum added 14, while Hannah Linthacum chipped in with 10.

Sarah Linthacum returned to the starting lineup after sitting out the loss to Webster Groves with an injury.

"She's a good passer, she's a good rebounder, she communicates well, she does so many things," Conway said "You could tell we missed her against Webster Groves."

Jefferson City (14-1, ranked No. 3 in Class 5) will take on Union at 4 p.m. Thursday in the rescheduled third-place game at the Union Tournament. The Lady Jays will then face Bolivar at 2:40 p.m. Saturday at the Camdenton Shootout.

"We don't need any more big layoffs," Conway said. "You don't want to be sitting around too much at this time of the season."

In Monday's JV game, Helias defeated Jefferson City 56-25. Chapel Dobbs had 15 points for the Lady Crusaders (9-2), while Olivia Schulte chipped in with 10.

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