Jets fly by young Speedgirls
BESSEMER - Bessemer wanted to give their fans an early Christmas present, but a good Jeffers team would have no part of it and thumped the Speedgirls 61-31 in a Copper Mountain Conference game in the House of Noise on Friday night.
"Bessemer is a good young team that is impressive on the inside and has good coaching," Jeffers coach Joe Romano said. "But they couldn't handle our press, especially early on. Every game, we usually go with a man-to-man press, But Bessemer is tall, so it was zone press. You have to give the girls the freedom to go after passes and the ball.
"But our running game is the biggest part of our game. We run-and-gun because we're so small."
Bessemer coach Gerry Pelissero pointed out Jeffers had a "nice team with good coaching."
"Our scouting report said they could shoot and we couldn't leave them alone," Pelissero said. "It also said they were good free throw shooters. The report was accurate, they made 13-14 free throws in the game."
The Speedgirls actually took the lead right off the bat. Rachel Mazurek made a steal and passed ahead to Allyson Metas for a lay-in.
But then the Jets put on their 2-2-1 press and it immediately paid benefits. Julia Nordstrom, who is quick as a hiccup, made a steal and a score and two more Jeffers' steals gave them a 6-2 advantage.
It was turnover city for Bessemer as they committed 11 turnovers in the first quarter and 16 by half-time.
The second quarter started when Jeffers' Eden Klemett made a running one-hander while driving to the basket. Right after that, Lindsey Johnson intercepted a pass near the basket on the press. As she was going out-of-bounds, she flipped the ball over her head into the waiting arms of Eden Klemett who scored easily and the Jets went up 29-11 with 5:20 remaining before half.
"But we settled down after that," Pelissero said.
Megan Peterson drained a triple from the right corner and Emily Matonich scored from eight feet. Caitlyn Pelissero sank two free throws and Rachel Emery made a 6-footer.
"The second quarter hurt, but we cut it from 31-12 to 31 to 20," Pelissero said. "But we were constantly chasing the other team and the score."
Nine seconds into the third quarter, Eden Klemett buried a 3 from the left wing. But Pelissero responded by getting behind the Jets' press and scoring.
Back and forth it went. Jeffers would hit a 3-ball, the Speedgirls would break the press and Ivy Klemett and Rachel Mazurek would trade off on a pair of free throws.
Jeffers led 49-28 after three quarters.
The game was never in doubt any longer as Jeffers came out running in the fourth quarter and scored eight straight points in the first two minutes.
Bessemer won the junior varsity game, 32-31.
The Speedgirls (1-4) will travel to Washburn on Dec. 28.
"We're 1-4, but we've played some pretty impressive teams so far and we have 15 games left."
Jeffers - Eden Klemett 19, Julia Nordstrom 19, Lindsey Johnson 8, Ivy Klemett 7, Alexa Clouthier 6. FTs: 13-14, Fouls: 12, Fouled out: none, 3-pointers: E. Klemett 3, I. Klemett 1.
Bessemer - Megan Peterson 2, Allyson Metas 7, Caitlyn Pelissero 6, Emily Matonich, 2 Caitlyn Lynch 5, Rachel Mazurek 5, Rachel Emery 4. FTs: 11-14, Fouls: 13, Fouled out: none, 3-pointers: none.
Jeffers 21 31 49 61
Bessemer 11 20 28 31