By Jim Riggs
There are two ''asterisk games'' every second semester in the schedule of the Jamestown Community College women's basketball team, which plays in NJCAA Region 3 Division II.
The Jayhawks always have to take on the Monroe CC Lady Tribunes, a Division I team, home and away.
The teams met at Monroe earlier this month and JCC suffered a 53-point loss. And when the Lady Tribunes arrived for a game at JCC on Thursday, they were 18-3 and ranked 24th in Division I.
That earlier big loss was forgotten after 10 minutes of play when the Jayhawks were in front by seven points. However, in the final three minutes of the first half Monroe scored 13 straight points to take a 40-26 halftime lead. Then the Lady Tribunes continued to roll in the second half for an 83-52 victory that moved JCC's record to 16-5.
What led to the Jayhawks early success was a change in defense.
See JCC, Page C3
From Page C1
''Against man (defense) they just ran stuff and got us,'' Sisson said about a 101-48 loss at Monroe earlier this month. ''We scouted them twice and both times I scouted them they almost lost to two of our conference opponents we had already beaten substantially.''
And those teams played a zone defense.
''We hadn't worked on a zone and we really put in the zone yesterday,'' Sisson said. ''We know the zone has some weaknesses, every zone has weaknesses, but I counted on the fact that maybe they wouldn't shoot quite as well and they shot the ball horrendously against the 2-3 in the two games I scouted them.''
And that is why JCC was staying with Monroe from the opening tip and never trailed until 7:50 was left in the first half. The Jayhawks' largest lead was seven, 20-13, with 9:48 left after Akiah Luceus and Brook Draggett scored 2s and Elle Reed converted a three-point free-throw chance.
The Jayhawks were settled in their 2-3 zone and Monroe did manage to hit five 3-pointers over it, but the Lady Tribunes hadn't been able to get a run going.
But it was only a matter of time.
Monroe cut into the JCC lead and finally took the lead. Luceus hit a pair a free throws to pull JCC within one, 27-26, with little over three minutes left when the tables turned.
From that point, the Lady Tribunes scored the last 13 points of the half for a 40-26 halftime lead.
A majority of the points were inside and many were off fast breaks fueled by JCC turnovers (the Jayhawks had 10 compared to three from Monroe). And twice the Lady Tribunes converted three-point plays.
''We went to man two or three possessions at the end of the first half, but it wasn't all man,'' Sisson said. ''It wasn't our half-court defense that hurt us, it was our inability to move the basketball and share the basketball in that last seven or eight minutes of the first half against the zone. We ended up turning the ball over. That ended up being breakouts against us.''
A minute into the second half, JCC had a little spurt of six straight points by Draggett and Luceus to pull within 10.
''In the second half I thought we competed when we did well against the zone,'' Sisson said.
But that didn't last long.
Monroe responded with a 14-7 run to regain control. Then the visitors put the game away by running off 12 straight points to take a 27-point lead, 70-43, with 8:35 left to play.
Reed led the Jayhawks with 15 points while Draggett had 12. Luceus was the rebounding leader with seven and Taylor Storer had seven assists.
Dione Coe was Monroe's leader with 14 points while Ayana Ratliff had 13, Deaisia Acklin had 12 and Tyre Jones 10.
''It's such a tough game,'' Sisson said. ''They're a Division I program, there's 12 (scholarship) rides and there's some girls that are getting looks from Big East. It's right in the middle of the region (Region 3 Division II schedule, where JCC is 3-0). I don't want any of my girls to lose any of their confidence. It doesn't count for anything, they're Division I, nationally-ranked Division I. Tonight we have to take the hottest shower and forget about the end result.''
JCC returns to important Region 3 Division II action on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Genesee CC.
Ratliff 4 3-5 13, Coe 6 0-0 14, Acklin 4 2-2 12, Hixson 3 0-0 9, Ayala 3 0-0 6, Barr 2 0-0 4, Jones 3 4-5 10, Haynes 2 3-5 7, Price 4 0-2 8, Totals 31 12-17 83.
Storer 1 0-0 2, Reed 3 9-9 15, Miller 3 0-2 6, Shelton 0 0-0 0, Clark 2 0-0 6, Sands 1 0-0 2, Draggett 5 2-2 12, Luceus 3 2-2 8, Hannon 0 0-1 1, Totals 18 14-17 52.
Halftime-Monroe 40, JCC 26. 3-point goals-Ratliff 2, Coe 2, Acklin 2, Hixson 3, Clark 2. Totals fouls-Monroe 12, JCC 9. Technical-JCC coach Sisson.