|Pirates down Jeffcats in NWC finale|
|Friday, February 15, 2013 1:44 PM|
The battle went down to the wire as Bluffton edged Jefferson for a 46-42 win in the regular-season finale.
The Lady Pirates got late foul shots from Katie Palte to make the score at the end of the first stanza 10-5, Lady Wildcats.
Bluffton open the second quarter with a bang as Paige Buroker nailed a 3-pointer to cut the Jefferson lead to 10-8. Two made free throws from Alex Lugibihl allowed the Lady Pirates to tie the game later at 14-14. Bluffton finished the first half on a 7-2 run, which included five points from Sierra Amstutz, to make the score going into intermission 21-16, Lady Pirates.
Jefferson got seven straight points coming from Stockwell as the Lady Wildcats cut the Bluffton lead to 27-23 in the third period. The Lady Wildcats finally regained the lead after a Sensibaugh runner and a Makayla Binkley 3-pointer made the score 29-28, Jefferson. Both teams exchanged hoops to end the third quarter as Bluffton’s Sarah Schriner got a layup but Jefferson countered with a layup from Binkley to end the period and make the score 33-30, Lady Wildcats.
The Lady Wildcats got a 3-point play from Binkley, which forced Bluffton to burn a timeout and made the score 41-38, Lady Pirates. Jefferson got a layup from Stockwell to cut the deficit to 43-42 but the Lady Wildcats were unable to score any more points and Bluffton sealed the deal with three free throws for a hard-fought victory.
The Lady Wildcats had one scorer in double figures — Stockwell with 19 points, which led all scorers on the night — but also got solid scoring from Binkley with eight points in the game.
The Lady Pirates had two girls in double digits as Buroker had 12 points and Amstutz added in 11 points for the game.
“We got out to a good start in the first quarter; we moved the ball and attacked the basket. We got away from that a little bit later; they put some pressure on us and we turned the ball over,” Jefferson coach David Hoffman said. “We got away from attacking the basket. The second quarter, our defense wasn’t what we like it to be. I thought our intensity picked up in the second half and we were much better there. We just had way too many turnovers and we put them at the foul line and they converted.”
Jefferson falls to 7-15, 3-6 in the NWC. They open Division IV tournament play Tuesday at Van Wert by taking on Spencerville in the second game (approximately 8 p.m.).
“I was very pleased with our intensity in the second half; we need to continue that on into the tournament and play at that level. Not like we did in the second quarter; we just let them have too many easy baskets,” Hoffman added. “We just need to take care of the ball. It’s good to be in games like this; this seasons you a little more and last week, we got beat by Allen East in overtime. We have had a couple of close games the last couple of weeks and hopefully it helps us season and we can handle the pressure a little bit better going into the tournament and next year.”