Today's Edition Local Missouri National World Opinion Obits Sports GoMidMo Events Classifieds Newsletters Contests Special Sections Jobs
story.lead_photo.caption Jefferson City players (from left) Hannah Linthacum, Sarah Linthacum, Hannah Nilges and Leah Kolb share a hug after winning Thursday's Class 6 District 9 Tournament championship game against Capital City at Fleming Fieldhouse. Photo by Liv Paggiarino / News Tribune.

Hannah Nilges knew she was close.

But she wasn't sure how close.

"I was kind of aware, but I wasn't sure of exact numbers," the Jefferson City senior guard said Thursday night as she reached the 1,000-point mark for her career as the Lady Jays captured the Class 6 District 9 Tournament title with a 65-30 victory against the Capital City Lady Cavaliers at Fleming Fieldhouse.

Nilges scored career points 1,000 and 1,001 on a putback midway through the fourth quarter that gave Jefferson City a 60-26 advantage. At the next stoppage in play, Nilges left the game and celebrated with her teammates on the bench.

"It's a big deal," Jefferson City coach Kay Foster said. "For a guard, there's not a lot of people giving her the ball while she's giving everybody else the ball."

Nilges is the third Lady Jay to reach the scoring milestone this season, joining fellow seniors Kara Daly and Sarah Linthacum.

"That's quite an accomplishment, to have three on one team," Foster said. "I'm so excited for Hannah to join them."

With the win, Jefferson City (20-2) advances to take on District 10 champion Springfield Central (15-12) in the sectionals at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Nilges, while thrilled to reach the individual career mark, knows there are bigger goals ahead.

"We're chasing something that's a lot bigger than that," she said. "This is just the first step to what our final goal is."

Capital City made some program history as well, earning its first district plaque by finishing second.

"I don't know if the players even understand what it means to get one of these," Capital City coach Ashley Agee said. "I think this is the first district championship any team has played for at Capital City and that's something to be proud of."

Jefferson City, the top seed and ranked No. 3 in Class 6 by the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association, closed the first quarter on a 12-1 run to take a 26-6 advantage.

The Lady Jays were focused from the opening tip on winning their third district championship in the past four years.

"It wasn't an option not to be ready to play this game because now when you lose, your season is over," Foster said. "We took this game seriously, we checked all the boxes.

"The girls really wanted to win that district title tonight."

Jefferson City took a 44-11 lead into intermission.

"Our mentality and our hustle picked up in the second quarter and we started making plays," Agee said. "We kept that up the rest of the way."

It was Jefferson City's second win against Capital City this season, posting a 78-18 victory Feb. 9.

"Capital City played with much more composure than a month ago," Foster said. "Ashley has done a great job, you can see the growth in that team."

That was one of just four games the Lady Jays played in February.

"It's been tough for us to get any momentum going with as little as we've played," Foster said. "We called all over looking for games, we just couldn't find anybody to play us.

"So we don't even know if we're hot, hopefully we are."

Jefferson City led 58-23 going to the fourth quarter, which was played with a running clock.

Brooklynn Greene led the Lady Cavaliers with eight points as Capital City ends its season at 4-23.

"I'm proud of the way we finished, we've made a lot of strides this season that don't always show up on the scoreboard," Agee said. "The kids have really made a lot of improvements."

Nilges led three Lady Jays in double figures with 16 points. Kara Daly finished with 14 points, while Hannah Linthacum came off the bench to record a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

It's the fifth straight 20-win season for Jefferson City.

COMMENTS - It looks like you're using Internet Explorer, which isn't compatible with our commenting system. You can join the discussion by using another browser, like Firefox or Google Chrome.
It looks like you're using Microsoft Edge. Our commenting system is more compatible with Firefox and Google Chrome.