This time, Jackson Memorial wasn’t able to stage a furious comeback for an improbable victory against Rancocas Valley.
Junior forward Lauren Moses scored a game-high 19 points and senior guard Jasmyne Lewis added 18 points to lead top-seeded Rancocas Valley over No. 2 Jackson Memorial, 58-36, in the NJSIAA Central Group IV final Tuesday at Rancocas Valley.
Senior guard Hannah Missry paced Jackson Memorial (20-8) with 14 points. Junior guard Morgan Williams and junior center Kelly Jamison added 10 and 8 points, respectively.
The game was a rematch of last year’s sectional final in which Jackson Memorial trailed by as many as 16 points in the first half before rallying for a thrilling 57-56 overtime win on the Red Devils’ home court. The Jaguars would go on to win their first-ever Group IV title.
“Coming back here it was weird,” Missry said. “I got the chills when I walked in the gym.”
This year’s game played out nearly the same as the first half last year. Rancocas Valley (27-1) took a 27-13 lead in the second quarter, but with the 6-foot-2 Moses on the bench in foul trouble, the Jaguars sliced the deficit to 31-23 by halftime. Williams scored all 10 of her points in the first half and Missry had 5 in the second quarter to keep the Jaguars close.
The Red Devils, though, were determined not to let Jackson Memorial get back in the game. Rancocas Valley scored the first eight points of the third quarter, including six by Lewis, to take a 39-23 lead.
Missry made a 3-pointer and a foul shot to make it 41-27, but that’s as close as the Jaguars would get the rest of the game as Rancocas Valley closed the third with a 7-2 run to take a 48-29 lead going into the fourth quarter.
“We didn’t want to repeat history,” Rancocas Valley coach Anthony Corrado said. “We wanted to pay them back for the last time.”
Moses, who already has committed to the University of Virginia, led the Red Devils’ second-half dominance by scoring 15 points after halftime.
“We knew we came up short and did not deserve to get that win (last year), so we wanted to come out and show them who’s better,” Moses said. “At halftime, we knew we couldn’t stop. We had to keep on the pedal and keep going hard.”
In the end, Rancocas Valley’s height and depth were too much to overcome for the Jaguars. The Red Devils won despite senior guard Brianna Logan getting held scoreless.
“Their depth is unbelievable, they bring two (players) off the bench that are just as good,” Jackson Memorial coach Rachel Goodale said. “I thought we played hard and our heart was there for 32 minutes, but the bottom line is they’re so athletic and they can all rebound, and that’s what killed us.”
“We have a lot of respect for them, especially after last year,” Missry said. “We knew what we were up against, we knew what we were coming into. The only thing we could do is play our hardest and leave it all out on the court.”
The game also was the final one for Jaguars senior starters Missry, Stephanie Mason and Shaaliyah Lyons.
“They left a legacy,” Goodale said. “They’re winners. They know how to win and they’ll win at the next level.”
Rancocas Valley 58, Jackson Mem. 36
Jackson Mem. (36): Missry 5 2-4 14, Mason 1 0-0 2, Lyons 1 0-0 2, Williams 4 2-3 10, Jamison 3 2-2 8. Totals: 14 6-9 36.
Rancocas Valley (58) Ward 4 1-1 9, Moses 8 3-4 19, Lewis 7 2-2 18, Logan 0 0-0 0, Woods 1 0-0 2, Smith 4 0-1 8, Brown 0 0-0 0, Jackson 1 0-0 2. Totals: 25 6-8 58.
|Ranc. Valley (27-1)||18||13||17||10||–||58|
3-point goals: (JM) Missry 2; (DV) Lewis 2.