Lady Eagles repeat as Sectional 60 champs
PHOTO COURTESY OF JCD SPORTS
Class A No. 8 Jac-Cen-Del’s path towards a repeat title meant having to get by a pair of outstanding challengers but in the end it was the Lady Eagles reminding all that the title path continues to run through them as head coach Scott Smith and company repeated as Class A Sectional 60 champions on Saturday night.
Jac-Cen-Del defeated Class A No. 11 Oldenburg Academy 49-41 in Saturday’s championship at Southwestern (Shelby) for its 18th sectional title in the Coach Smith era. It was the 27th overall in program history.
Oldenburg proved to be a worthy title tilt foe but Jac-Cen-Del used seven points from Kelsey Borgman in the second quarter to kickstart a 15-10 surge that ultimately served as a haymaker that the Lady Twisters never recovered from. The Lady Eagles used that spurt to push ahead 23-15 and maintained its end-of-quarter strangleholds by two or more possessions.
The three-point shot kept the Lady Twisters from completely fading and five-made 3-pointers in the second half would provide moments of momentum. Ultimately, Jac-Cen-Del matched the effort and a 13-12 edge in the fourth quarter after holding a seven-point lead going into that period put the proverbial icing on the cake. The Lady Eagles got seven points in the final eight minutes from senior Julia Meyer and the team connected on 7-of-8 free throws during the stanza.
All five Jac-Cen-Del starters were named to the All-Sectional Team which included Meyer, the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. The Lady Eagle’s leading scorer and rebounder went for 15 points in the championship and that was followed by Borgman’s 10 points. Kaylin Hinners dropped all eight of her points in the second half, Sophia Sullivan scored six points in the final two quarters and Reagan Hughes hit two 3-pointers for six points.
Savannah Steele came off the bench and provided four points for Jac-Cen-Del as part of its second quarter run.
Kate Weber, Gina Grote and Rachel Suttman were All-Sectional selections for Oldenburg. Weber scored 11 points in the title game and Grote hit three 3-pointers for nine points. Suttman opened the game with four points but was held in check the rest of the way and finished with six points.
Sadie Wachsmann canned three trifectas for nine points and Ellie Ryan rounded out scoring for the Lady Twisters with six points.
Jac-Cen-Del earned its championship game berth on Friday night, holding off South Decatur by a 49-43 final score. The Lady Cougars (14-11) went on a 17-10 run in the second quarter to lead 29-25 at halftime but South’s offense came to a screeching halt in the second half as the Lady Eagle defense prevailed and paved the way to victory.
South was held to just 14 points in the second half while Jac-Cen-Del used the free throw line to its benefit to allow its offense to continue scoring points. The Lady Eagles were 8-of-10 from the stripe in the third quarter and would finish with an 18-of-29 mark for the game.
Meyer went off for 14 points in the first half and would go on to lead all scorers with 20 points. Borgman finished with 11 points, Hinners added eight points and Sullivan chipped in six points. Hughes finished with four points on Friday night.
Oldenburg beat Morristown 62-47 in the second semifinal game on Friday night. Statistics from that game were not provided by time of print. The Lady Twisters finished up the winter under first-year head coach David Disbro with a 19-5 record and a program record for most wins in a season. Wachsmann, Weber and Ryan are all departing seniors on the team.
Jac-Cen-Del is now 20-5, the 10th 20-plus win season for Coach Smith, and heads to the Class A Regional Championship at Southwestern (Shelby) this Saturday night at 7 p.m. The Lady Eagles face Eminence (19-7) with a semi-state berth on the line. The Lady Eels defeated Greenwood Christian by a 52-26 final last weekend.