By GREG BURTON
Special to Southern Indiana Preps
SEYMOUR — The Class 4A No. 8 Jeffersonville Red Devils had two opponents in the Class 4A Seymour Sectional first-round game Tuesday night at Scott Gym.
The first opponent was host Seymour, which Jeff defeated 40-27. The second one was perhaps in this case more formidable and impossible to defend. The Lady Red Devils have been battling sickness, with numerous girls missing school and being limited on practice time.
Jeff (19-5) disposed of Seymour (11-12) fairly handily on the strength of two nice runs — one in the first quarter and one in the third. The game was not a work of art, though, as the physical effects of sickness were apparent throughout.
“It was extremely ugly, but we were happy to play that way,” said Jeff coach Mike Warren. “We’re battling a lot of stuff, and we’re figuring out a way to get kids everywhere and get a few healthy bodies and have enough kids to step up off the bench and do it for us. We’ll take it any way we can get it right now.”
Jeff took control of the contest early, and never relinquished the lead or let Seymour get back within striking distance.
After Seymour’s Maddie Roark opened the game with a 3-pointer, Jeff responded by scoring the next 15 points of the period to take the lead after one quarter by a 15-3 score.
The Lady Red Devils kept the defensive clamps down on the Lady Owls throughout much of the second quarter as well. Seymour had a mere five points going into the final minute of the half before it scored four points within the last minute. Jeff led 19-9 at the intermission.
“Defensively in the first half, we were outstanding, covering up shooters the way we needed to,” said Warren.
The third period was nearly identical to the first one. Seymour opened with a field goal to cut the deficit to eight points at 19-11. At that point, the Lady Red Devils reeled off 11 consecutive points to go up 30-11. A Seymour free throw made the margin 30-12 at the end of the period.
In the fourth quarter, things got a little dicey. Seymour went on a 10-2 run to cut the lead to eight at 33-25 with three minutes to play.
Sophomore Kiersten Poor stepped up for Jeff, though, hitting four free throws and settling the Lady Red Devils.
“In the fourth quarter, it was mental fatigue,” said Warren. “We didn’t have our rotations. We lost our mind there for about two or three minutes, which is not uncharacteristic of us. But at the end, we kind of collected back together and put it in the right person’s hands.
“Kiersten Poor has hardly played at all this year on varsity, and she steps up and makes huge free throws at the end of the game and settles us down, and I’m extremely proud of her.”
Although she struggled early, Nan Garcia paced Jeff with 10 points and nine rebounds. The sophomore went just 3-of-13 from the field, missing most of those early. She recovered nicely in the middle quarters, though. Warren said that Garcia is one of the players who has been battling sickness lately.
As a team, the Red Devils hit just 12-of-39 field-goal attempts (30.8 percent). That was better than Seymour, however, as the Lady Owls made only 25 percent of their attempts on 10-of-40 from the field.
Jeff dominated the glass as well, outrebounding the Lady Owls 41-26.
Roark was the only Seymour player to reach double figures with 10 points.
Jeffersonville advances to Friday night’s semifinal, where they will play Floyd Central (8-15), which drew a bye. Tipoff is scheduled for 6.
“We have some kids just not feeling very good. They’ve barely been at school and barely practicing,” said Warren. “We’re just praying to be sick-free the rest of the week and go full bore on Friday and Saturday.”
CLASS 4A SEYMOUR SECTIONAL
JEFFERSONVILLE 40, SEYMOUR 27
Jeff 15 4 11 10—40
Seymour 3 6 3 15—27
Jeff (19-5): Jaylyn Brown 0-5 0-1 0, Jasmine Lilly 3-4 0-4 9, Kelsie James 0-1 3-6 3, Britney Epperson 4-7 1-2 9, Nan Garcia 3-13 4-5 10, Chelsea Gibson 2-5 1-2 5, Kiersten Poor 0-4 4-5 4, Diamond Taylor 0-0 0-0 0, AaLeiah Winford 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 12-39 13-25 40.
Seymour (11-12): Aidan Hiester 2-6 1-2 6, Ashton Chase 0-7 0-0 0, Maddie Roark 4-11 0-0 10, Makenna Fee 3-6 1-2 9, Grace Meyer 1-7 0-0 2, Megan Ritz 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 10-40 2-4 27.
3-point field goals: Jeff 3-8 (Lilly 3-4, Brown 0-1, Garcia 0-1, Poor 0-2); Seymour 5-18 (Fee 2-2, Roark 2-7, Hiester 1-2, Meyer 0-3, Chase 0-4).
Rebounds: Jeff 41 (Garcia 9, Lilly 8); Seymour 26 (Ritz 6).
Turnovers: Jeff 11, Seymour 11.
Total fouls: Jeff 12, Seymour 16.
Fouled out: Gibson.