When Jefferson Academy girls basketball suffered an unpleasant loss to No. 3 Peak to Peak Jan. 17, 60-29, they were hoping to make a statement against No. 2 Lutheran in their next match.
While the Jaguars (7-4) did fight until the end against the …
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While the Jaguars (7-4) did fight until the end against the Lions, Lutheran came out on top 49-46 Jan. 22 at Jefferson Academy High School.
Jaguars head coach Kevin Porter said the girls improved greatly from their match the previous week.
“We talked about the girls playing with heart,” Porter said. “We talked about what we could do to be smarter with the ball. We talked about if we’re going to go down, it’s going to not be without a fight. These people need to know that we came to play tonight.”
Lutheran came into the game 8-1 with their one loss being against Holy Family. No team has scored more than 40 points against them except for Holy Family, Peyton and now Jefferson Academy.
“Our program’s identity has always revolved around our half-court defense,” Lutheran head coach Mark Duitsman said. “Keeping those scores as low as we have is a tribute to our girls. Basketball is a game that’s going to reveal how truly connected you are to the team.”
With one minute left in the game and the Jaguars down 45-43, Lutheran junior Cara Thomas was fouled and sunk both of her free throw shots to take the 47-43 lead. But a 3-pointer by Jefferson Academy’s junior Alycia Wright tightened the score to 47-46 with 28 seconds left.
The Jaguars fouled Lions sophomore Kristen Vigil with four seconds left in the game.
Vigil made both of her free throws for the 49-46 advantage. Jefferson Academy attempted the buzzer-beating game-tying 3-pointer at the other end, but missed, losing the game 49-46.
Despite missing a few players due to injuries and poor grades, Porter was still pleased with his team’s performance.
“I’m so proud of the girls,” Porter said. “For who we had to be able to play, I’m real proud of them. We’ll find a way.”
Lutheran’s Thomas finished the game with 19 points followed by junior Kaleigh Paplow with 10 points.
Thomas transferred to Lutheran last spring and had to sit out the first nine games this season.
The game against the Jaguars was her first as a Lion.
“She’s showed why we’ve been so excited for her to join us,” Duitsman said of Thomas.
“She definitely made her presence in the high post.”
The Jaguars will host Kent Denver and Bishop Machebeuf Jan. 31 and Feb. 4, respectively.
Lutheran plays Faith Christian Jan. 31 and Manual Feb. 4 both at Lutheran High School.
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