Jays beat press, Kewpies

Jefferson City defeats Hickman for the second time in seven days.
Wednesday, February 9, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 8:28 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

The Hickman and Jefferson City girls’ basketball teams have faced each other twice in the past seven days.

Both games ended the same way.

The Jays jumped out to an early lead at Hickman on Tuesday night and doubled up the Kewpies, 48-24.

“I thought we were very ineffective,” Hickman coach Tonya Mirts said. “Jeff City dominated us on the glass. They really attacked the basket. When all five of them were on the floor at the very beginning of the game, I think they set the tone. You have to complement them.”

Jefferson City defeated the Kewpies 61-49 in the first round of the Maryville University Invitational Tournament in St. Louis on Feb. 2.

“I would like to play teams like Jeff City 20 games out of the year,” Mirts said. “It only makes your team better.”

Hickman’s full-court pressure in the first half didn’t bother Jefferson City. The Jays broke the press and capitalized with easy transition buckets.

“We really worked on (the pressure) because up at Maryville, we didn’t react very well,” Jefferson City coach Doug Light said. “We were really trying to emphasis to our kids that you’ve got to keep your composure and handle that situation. Hickman runs a variety of looks at you and really tests your kids and our kids handled it well tonight.”

Mirts said her team’s press was ineffective because of the way the Jays (13-8) attacked it and how the Kewpies executed it.

Cold shooting also hurt Hickman (11-13) throughout the game, as it shot eight-of-37 overall.

“Our defensive effort was really good,” Light said. “If you’re going to have success, you’ve got to play great defense. That’s what we concentrate on all the time. Sometimes the shots don’t fall, but if you play that tough defense, you’re always in the game.”

Lauren Nolke, a Hickman sophomore who averages 14.5 points per game, was held scoreless.

“We looked at her to score quite a bit for us,” Mirts said. “They took that away from us. They played good defense. She got further and further away from the basket, and she leaned on her back foot.”

Junior Brianna Culberson led the Jays with 14 points.

“She did a tremendous job,” Light said. “She’s becoming a complete player. At halftime, we talked about (stepping up) and obviously she’s a marquee player for us. She can’t do it all by herself and we’ve got other players who are starting to step up and fill their roles.”

Neither coach felt that their team had an advantage going into Tuesday’s rematch.

“There’s all these things said about playing teams so many times but I don’t buy into any of that,” Light said. “You can’t think of it that way. You just have to approach each game.”

The Kewpies play Saturday at home against Lee’s Summit.

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