JACKSON — Unfortunately for the Ironladies, standout senior Rebekah Green could only watch — and coach from the sidelines.
That’s because Green, in all likelihood, would have made a world of difference in Saturday night’s Frontier Athletic Conference girls basketball tilt — as Jackson hosted the Washington Court House Lady Blue Lions.
Without Green in the lineup, the Lady Blue Lions roared from opening tip to final buzzer, rolling the undermanned and overmatched Ironladies 60-10 at Jackson High School.
With the win, the Blue Lions landed the season sweep, as they defeated Jackson 61-46 in the two teams’ initial meeting in early December.
Washington held on to second-place in the FAC, improving to 7-1 in the league — part of 13-1 overall record.
The Blue Lions’ lone loss is to FAC leader, and close rival, Miami Trace.
The loss, which was Jackson’s sixth consecutive and the fifth since Green got injured in the first game of January, left the Ironladies at 5-10 — and 2-4 in the FAC.
The contest also celebrated the Ironladies’ Senior Night, as Green was honored in the pregame along with Jordan Banks, Elizabeth Fout, Raylene Hammond, Mariah Ridgeway and Marley Haynes.
Green, who suffered the season-ending knee injury and concluded her decorated Ironlady career as the program’s second all-time leading scorer, led all scorers with 31 points — including a perfect 10-of-10 from the free-throw line — in the first matchup.
In that affair, Jackson trailed 47-39 entering the final quarter.
But on Saturday, and after a nine-day layoff for the Ironladies, all they could muster was 10 points.
They scored two points apiece in each of the opening three periods, followed by four in the fourth — on a Hammond free throw with 6:53 remaining followed by a Taylor Evans three-pointer at the 3:25 mark.
The closest they got was a 3-1 deficit on Hammond’s first foul shot with 5:26 left in the first, as Hannah Haithcock of Washington had her club’s opening eight points.
She scored on an old-fashioned three-point play just two minutes and 20 seconds in, then drilled her only three-point goal a minute and 10 tics later.
She then scored her first of her four two-point goals off a Rayana Burns assist at the four-minute mark, and the Blue Lions looked back no more.
All nine of the Lady Lions who played registered in the scoring column, as the six-foot standout Haithcock outscored the Ironladies by herself — with 15 points which included 4-of-4 free throws.
Washington shot 26 of 58 from the field for 45-percent, but most of its offense resulted from its defense, which made 13 steals including five by Bre Taylor off 17 Ironlady turnovers.
The Blue Lions led 13-2 following the opening quarter, 27-4 at halftime and 44-6 following three frames.
The Ironladies made just two of 30 total shots, including one of 10 from three-point range, while Haithcock had four of the Blue Lions’ seven blocks.
“Jackson is struggling right now without (Rebekah) Green, because she makes the world of difference in there,” Washington head coach Samantha Leach said. “But I felt like our defense was very sound tonight. Our communication was excellent, and we made a lot of steals. I was very impressed with our effort as a team. I thought we played well and played together.”
On the offensive end, Washington racked up 19 assists, and outrebounded the Ironladies 41-23 — spearheaded by sole senior Maddy Garrison with seven.
“I thought our girls did a good job of looking for the one-more pass. They shared the ball and everyone contributed,” said Leach.
Indeed they did.
Burns, Garrison, Maddy Jenkins and Kassidy Hines had three baskets apiece for six points, as Shawna Conger — with two deuces and two fourth-quarter threes — tallied 10.
Tabby Woods wound up with five on two buckets and a split of first-quarter free throws, while Taylor — on two third-quarter field goals — finished with four.
Halli Wall, with a steal and layup with only 12 seconds remaining, gave the Blue Lions their largest lead at 60-10.
“That’s (Blue Lions) a real good team. I actually thought we played well in the first half to hold them to 27 (points). It was a good defensive effort, but we just can’t score,” said Jackson coach Matt Walburn. “If you come and watch us, you’ll see that. If you ask around, people will tell you that. We just struggle to score. We’ll just keep up the defensive effort, and hopefully, we’ll figure out a way to score some baskets.”
Something they didn’t do on Saturday night.
In fact, the Ironladies didn’t make a basket until Haynes had one with 2:50 remaining in the third.
She split a pair of free throws at the 1:26 mark of the first quarter and the 4:38 juncture of the second, as Hammond split a pair with 3:21 to play before halftime — for Jackson’s only other point.
Needless to say, but it was the Ironladies’ lowest point total of the entire season, eclipsing the back-to-back 19-point outings in their past two games before Saturday.
Hammond had the lone assist, while Fout led the Red and White in rebounds with six.
Despite the lopsided loss, Walburn was nothing but praiseful of his half-dozen Ironlady seniors.
It just would have been nice for Green to be out there — to at least give the Ironladies a realistic chance.
“Year in and year out, our program has great kids. This is another example of that…six great seniors. I hate it for Rebekah (Green) that she couldn’t play, it’s tough for her to sit over there and watch. But she’s a coach over there now. She and the other five seniors, no doubt in my mind, will be very successful one day in life,” he said.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
W 13 14 17 16 — 60
J 2 2 2 4 — 10
(13-1, 7-1 FAC)
Rayana Burns 3 0-0 6, Maddy Garrison 3 0-0 6, Bre Taylor 2 0-0 4, Kassidy Hines 3 0-0 6, Tabby Woods 2 1-2 5, Halli Wall 1 0-0 2, Shawna Conger 4 0-0 10, Maddy Jenkins 3 0-0 6, Hannah Haithcock 5 4-4 15; TOTALS 26 5-6 60; Three-point goals: 3 (Shawna Conger 2, Hannah Haithock 1)
JACKSON 10 (5-10, 2-4 FAC)
Jordan Banks 0 0-0 0, Jena Bond 0 0-0 0, Gracie Walburn 0 0-0 0, Mariah Ridgeway 0 0-0 0, Raegan Hall 0 0-0 0, Emma Bapst 0 0-0 0, Taylor Evans 1 0-0 3, Browlyn Nelson 0 0-0 0, Raylene Hammond 0 3-8 3, Elizabeth Fout 0 0-0 0, Marley Haynes 1 2-4 4; TOTALS 2 5-12 10; Three-point goals: 1 (Taylor Evans 1)
Paul Boggs is the sports editor of the Jackson Times Journal newspaper.
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