Defending Holiday Classic champion Jackson decks Perryville girls basketball team

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Jackson’s Cassidi Tomsu guards Perryville’s Allison Moldenhauer during the first round of the Kelso Supply Holiday Classic on Tuesday at the Show Me Center. (ADAM VOGLER)

The Jackson girls basketball team is not favored to win this year's Kelso Supply Holiday Classic.

But if Tuesday night's opening-round game is any indication, the Indians are not about to give up their title without a fight.

Defending champion Jackson, seeded third for the eight-team tournament at the Show Me Center, crushed sixth-seeded Perryville 53-20.

"I told them the other day, it's still ours until somebody beats us," Jackson coach Tyler Abernathy.

Jackson, featuring a roster of three returning senior starters and a host of promising youngsters, has been up and down so far this year.

Jackson's Megan Williams drives around Perryville's Allison Moldenhauer during the Indians' 53-20 win over the Pirates in the first round of the Kelso Supply Holiday Classic on Tuesday at the Show Me Center. (ADAM VOGLER)

"We've been in a couple of big games, and sometimes the moment has overwhelmed us," Abernathy said. "We haven't handled it real well, but tonight I thought we made some strides.

"I thought our effort and energy, for four quarters, was the best it's been so far. I thought we handled being in the big arena pretty well."

The Indians (5-4) suffocated Perryville (3-3) with their defense, forcing 25 turnovers and converting many of them into fast-break layups.

"We played really good defense. We just executed really well," Jackson senior Danielle Daume said.

Daume, one of only three seniors on Jackson's roster, scored 11 points.

Jackson got a big lift from talented freshman guard Cassidi Tomsu, who has shown through the early part of the season that she likely will attract college recruiters over the next few years.

The speedy Tomsu came off the bench in the first half and ignited the Indians with all 14 of her points. She was thrilled to be playing in a game at the Show Me Center for the first time.

"Oh gosh yeah," Tomsu said.

Tomsu, among five freshmen on Jackson's roster, is also excited to be contributing on the varsity level so soon.

"It was my goal," she said. "Just playing basketball. ... It's what I love to do."

Jackson came out hot from long distance, getting 3-pointers from Daume, Tomsu and sophomore Rachel Crites to build a 15-7 lead afer one quarter,

"They got a couple of 3-point shots off the bat that really hurt us," Perryville coach Vicki Lohmann said. "We were just not in sync. We were throwing the ball away way too many times."

Tomsu scored nine second-quarter points as Jackson outscored Perryville 18-6.

A layup by Crites, who added nine points, sent the Indians to the locker room up 33-13.

The Indians scored the first 14 points of the third quarter -- six by freshman Kayla Keith and four by Daume -- to build a 47-13 bulge.

Perryville, trailing 47-16 after three quarters, was outscored just 6-4 in the final period.

Most of the fourth quarter was played with a running clock used whenever a team leads by 30 points or more in the final period.

"We played better in the fourth quarter, but we were already too far behind," Lohmann said.

Senior Natalie Gremaud paced the Pirates with 13 points.

The Indians face second-seeded Central, one of their major rivals, in Thursday's 8:30 p.m. semifinal.

"That's all right," Daume said about Jackson not being the favorite. "We can be the underdogs for once."

Perryville plays Sikeston at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in a consolation semifinal.

Perryville7634--20
Jackson1518146--53

PERRYVILLE (20) -- Natalie Gremaud 13, Ahnie Hoff 1, Brooke Moll 2, Desiree Brown 4. FG 6, FT 7-14, F 8. (3-pointers: Gremaud 1. Fouled out: none)

JACKSON (53) -- Cassidi Tomsu 14, Rachel Crites 9, Emily Davidson 2, Michaela Binns 4, Emily Gartman 3, Danielle Daume 11, Mckinzie Scott 2, Megan Williams 2, Kayla Keith 6. FG 24, FT 1-1, F 14. (3-pointers: Tomsu 2, Crites 1, Daume 1. Fouled out: none)

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