Jackson does last-minute Holiday scoring for third

Wednesday, December 24, 2008
ELIZABETH DODD ~ edodd@semissourian.com
The Jackson bench celebrated as Kaylen Knepp scored a layup to put Jackson ahead by one point with two seconds left in Tuesday's third-place game of Saint Francis Medical Center Holiday Classic at the Show Me Center. Jackson won 35-34.

The Jackson girls basketball team stole a win and third-place away from Sparta (Ill.) in Tuesday night's final round of the Saint Francis Holiday Classic.

The Indians, after struggling mightily on offense for the first 3 1/2 quarters, were sparked by their successful pressure defense and a sudden offensive surge in a 35-34 victory over the Bulldogs.

Jackson junior Kaylen Knepp scored the winning basket on a drive down the left side of the lane for her only two points of the game.

"We ran an offense and the play we ran didn't work." Jackson coach Sheila Midgett-Haertling said, "but we said if it didn't work then, whoever she makes the pass to [was] to take it to the basket, and that's what she did."

It hardly looked like the Indians (3-4) would be drawing up a winning play with as late as a minute to play in the game.

Jackson's Landon Wachte defends Sparta's Rachel Peck during the second half.

At that point, Jackson trailed 33-28 after Sparta had a run of three free throws. But senior Ashten Howard hit her second 3-pointer of the period with 47 seconds to go, and junior Cassanda Bollinger hit a jumper with 26 seconds remaining that pulled Jackson within one, 34-33.

Sparta (8-4) turned the ball over against the press on the next possession, leaving Jackson with 18 seconds on its last possession. After Knepp's basket, with 2.6 seconds left, Sparta's inbound pass sailed the length of the floor without being touched, ending the threat.

"Here in the last three games or so, we've had a hard time scoring and haven't played well defensively," Midgett-Haertling said. "We've been in a slump, but we have played some good teams, some of the best teams in the area.

"We can play better than what we've played, but I'm proud of our effort tonight, proud that we continue to work hard. I think defensively that's what pulled it out for us — effort."

Jackson trailed by just one after one quarter despite managing just four points. The Indians also had just four points in the second period — a basket on the first possession and one on the last — but trailed only 15-8 at halftime.

ABOVE: The Jackson bench celebrates a layup by Kaylen Knepp that put the Indians ahead by one point with two seconds left during Tuesday's third-place game of the Saint Francis Medical Center Holiday Classic at the Show Me Center. Jackson won 35-34. RIGHT: Jackson's Dru Haertling scores a basket in front of Sparta's Jessica Robinson during the second half.

Jackson's deficit grew to 25-16 after three quarters, before the Indians erupted for 19 points in the fourth period. They outscored Sparta 14-5 in the final 4:09.

Howard led Jackson with 11 points, while freshman guard Dru Haertling added 10, including a pair of baskets early in the fourth quarter as Jackson rallied.

Third-place game

Jackson 35, Sparta (Ill.) 34

Jackson44819—35

ELIZABETH DODD ~ edodd@semissourian.com
Perryville's Hilary Hemman, left, attempts two points against Central's Starr Harris in the second half of the Holiday Classic on Tuesday ending in a Central victory 72-59 placing them fifth in the tournament.

Sparta510109—34

Jackson (35)— Dru Haertling 10, Landon Wachter 2, Kaylen Knepp 2, Cassandra Bollinger 6, Jordan Smith 2, Ashten Howard 11, Whitney McNeeley 2. FG 14, FT 5-12, F 16. (3-pointers: Howard 2. Fouled out: Smith).

Sparta (34) — Rachel Peck 1, Jessica Robinson 14, Jade Vaughn 2, Kordelia Claybourn 9, Taylor Martin 8. FG 12, FT 9-16, F 13. (3-pointers: Martin. Fouled out: none)

Central 72, Perryville 59

Chelsea Pannier hit three 3-pointers for a game-high 24 points as Central hammered Perryville in the fifth-place game of the eight-team tournament.

ABOVE: Central's Crystal Vinson, left, Paige Smith, and Amy Kinnison joked on the bench during the final minutes of the Tigers' 72-59 victory against Perryville at the Show Me Center. Central claimed fifth place in the Saint Francis Medical Center Holiday Classic with the victory. LEFT: Central coach Sherri Shirrell directed her team during the second quarter.

Central led by 12 after one period and by 21 at halftime, then stretched its advantage to 56-28 after three quarters.

Senior Wendi Zickfield added 23 points for Central (5-4).

Perryvlle (1-3) had three players in double figures: Ava Johnson with 17, Alicia Kueker with 13 and Emily Hanquist with 12.

Fifth-place game

Perryville681422—59

ELIZABETH DODD ~ edodd@semissourian.com
Coach Sherri Shirrell coaches from the sidelines during the second quarter.

Central18172116—72

Perryville (59) — Alicia Kueker 13, Ava Johnson 17, Catie Oberndorfer 2, Lilly Johnson 6, Emily Hanquist 12, Samantha Amberger 5, Natalie Bauwens 2. FG 24, FT 6-10, F 14. (3-pointers: Kueker 2, L. Johnson 2, A. Johnson 1. Fouled out: none)

Central (72) — Emily Myers 2, Sadie Pittman 9, Chelsea Pannier 24, Paige Smith 2, Wendi Zickfield 23, Machaela Druham 8. FG 30, FT 9-11, F 13. (3-pointers: Pannier 3. Fouled out: none)

ABOVE: Perryville's Hilary Hemman drives the lane against Central's Starr Harris during the second half of their fifth-place game Tuesday at the Saint Francis Medical Center Holiday Classic at the Show Me Center. BELOW: Central's players huddle in the final minute of their game.
Jackson's Connor King guards Sparta's Taylor Martin as she tries to inbound the ball during the second half of Jackson's 35-34 victory in the third-place game of the Saint Francis Medical Center Holiday Classic.
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