Jackson girls basketball team reaches district title game

Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Jackson's Brooke Sanders drives against Northwest defender Abigail Lakin during the third quarter of their Class 5 District 1 semifinal Tuesday at Central. (Fred Lynch)

Jackson girls basketball coach Shelia Haertling described herself as "surviving" after her team's Class 5 District 1 semifinal Tuesday night at Central.

"We didn't play to our ability," she said. "We didn't play very well offensively. We just couldn't make a basket and couldn't finish. And we didn't play the best defense."

But the Indians survived all that on their way to a comfortable 55-38 victory over Northwest to advance to the district title game.

Jackson raced out to an 18-4 lead after one quarter.

"We were finishing our easy shots," Jackson junior Connor King said. "We were getting easy shots -- taking good shots and finishing."

Jackson's Kylie Seyer shoots against Northwest defender Kayla Fortner during the first quarter of their Class 5 District 1 semifinal Tuesday at Central. (Fred Lynch)

But the Indians then were outscored 12-9 in the second quarter.

"Sometimes we have a tendency to do that," Haertling said. "We'll come out and we'll get ahead and then we get relaxed and started trying to do our own thing instead of what was working for us the first time, and that ends up getting us in trouble."

Northwest scored the first five points of the second half to trim the Jackson to 27-21, which prompted Haertling to take a timeout with 6 minutes, 57 seconds to go in the third quarter.

"The message was, 'If you don't get yourself moving, we're going to end up getting beat here,'" Haertling said. "'You're going to have to focus on the things that have gotten us here this far.'"

Jackson senior McKenzie Quade made a 3-pointer less than a minute later and Northwest never got that close again.

"Right after halftime they just acted like they wanted it more, and [coach Haertling] just had to kick us back in gear," Quade said.

Quade also ended a 7-0 run by Northwest with a layup after another Jackson timeout in the fourth quarter.

"It ends their momentum, but then it gives us momentum," Quade said about her timely baskets. "It makes us play harder on defense, I think, to know that something is actually going for us on offense."

Quade finished with a game-high 19 points, which took the scoring load off fellow senior Brooke Sanders, who finished with just four points.

"She's always been an offensive threat," Haertling said. "She's not selfish by any means, but she knows that when other people aren't scoring she has to.

"She's just that kind of kid. She's intense, she's competitive and so she takes it upon herself to try to dig us out of the hole. She's been successful with it."

King also finished in double digits for Jackson with 14 points.

The Indians will face Poplar Bluff at 6 p.m. Friday for the district title.

The teams split two meetings this season. Poplar Bluff won the most recent game 44-38 on Feb. 3. Last season, the Mules ended Jackson's season in the district semifinals with a three-point victory.

"It should be a good matchup," Haertling said. "It'll probably be whoever shows up and performs."

King said she and her teammates have looked forward to another shot at Poplar Bluff.

"Oh we're ready," King said. "You can write that down. We're ready."

Why?

"Because it's our rubber match -- we're 1-1, she said. "We're not ready to be one and done."

Northwest4121012--38
Jackson1891018--55

NORTHWEST (38) -- Taylor Hosna 1, Abigail Lakin 9, Kayla Fortner 16, Brittany Fortner 5, Alysia Spurgeon 7. FG 12, F 18, FT 11-16. (3-pointers: K. Fortner 2, Spurgeon 1. Fouled out: Alyssa Arnold)

JACKSON (55) -- Dru Haertling 5, Rachel Hodo 2, Brooke Sanders 4, Connor King 14, Kylie Seyer 5, Danielle Daume 6, McKenzie Quade 19. (3-pointers: Haertling 1, Daume 1, Quade 3. Fouled out: none)

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