It wasn’t pretty, but Jeffersonville improved to 3-0 in Hoosier Hills Conference play by way of a 35-24 win over visiting Floyd Central Thursday night.
The Red Devils (5-3) and Highlanders (5-4, 1-3 HHC) shot just 29 percent from the field collectively and combined for a whopping 52 turnovers.
Jeffersonville shot 12-of-42 from the floor but held Floyd Central to just one point in the first quarter and zero in the third – an effort descriptive of the Red Devils’ season thus far.
“If we don’t defend, we’re not going to win,” Jeffersonville coach Mike Warren said. “Offensively, we struggled. I don’t have a hard time getting them to compete defensively. I’m blessed in that aspect. … But other than that, we played a poorly-executed basketball game.”
GALLERY: Jeffersonville-Floyd Central
Floyd Central, meanwhile, forced Jeffersonville into 27 turnovers despite its 8-of-28 offensive showing but hit just six of their 19 free-throw attempts – a game-changing statistic, per coach Kirk Hamsley.
“I thought we defended pretty darn well,” Hamsley said. “We held them to 35 – that’s about as good as we can do. … I can’t ask much more defensively from our kids. We just have to score more. Tonight was a night where we had to hit free throws, and we didn’t.”
Jeffersonville jumped out to a 7-0 lead early, as Floyd Central committed four turnovers before notching a point – a free throw by Kalissa Fosskuhl with 3:59 left in the period, which was its only score of the first. The Red Devils led 9-1 after one. They forced eight first-quarter turnovers.
The Highlanders recorded their first field goal with 7:19 left in the second quarter. They trailed 11-3 early in the period before cutting the deficit to 13-8 with 2:05 remaining until halftime. A pair of Gracie Fitzgerald free throws made the 14-10 halftime score. The Red Devils shot just 6-of-28 from the floor in the opening half.
“We just weren’t mentally prepared to play,” Warren said, “and we made a ton of mistakes – mental mistakes. They’re doing things that they know we’ve improved upon and worked on in practice, and they just continue to make them. It was frustrating to watch. It was a sheer lack of mental preparation.”
Floyd Central committed only two turnovers in the second quarter after a rough start. The third period proved to be déjà vu for the Highlanders, though. The visitors coughed up the ball eight times in the third all the while going 0-of-5 from the floor en route to a scoreless quarter. Jeffersonville took a 22-10 lead into the fourth.
The Red Devils’ reserves paced Jeffersonville to a 26-11 lead early in the final period, but the Highlanders weren’t done yet. Floyd Central cut its deficit to 29-21 with 1:27 left, but the Red Devils sunk eight of 11 free throws down the stretch to secure the win. Jhala Henry was the only starter to log minutes in the fourth for Jeffersonville.
“She was engaged from the start. I put some different kids in there,” Warren said. “I wasn’t happy with the effort from some of our regular kids. … She deserved to go back in.”
The Red Devils, who with the win improved to 19-6 against the Highlanders in the past 15 years, host Madison on Friday. Floyd Central hosts South Oldham (Ky.) next Thursday.
Floyd Central: 1 – 9 – 0 – 14 – 24
Jeffersonville: 9 – 5 – 8 – 13 – 35
Red Devils (5-3, 3-0 Hoosier Hills Conference)
Jacinta Gibson 2p, 3a, 3s; Jhala Henry 7p, 2r; Britney Epperson 4p, 5r; Jaelyn Lee 5p, 3r; Jaylynn Brown 3p, 4r; Chelsea Gibson 4p, 2r; Jasmine Lilly 3a, 3r; Tori Handley 8p; Nan Garcia 2r
Highlanders (5-4, 1-3 HHC)
Kalissa Fosskuhl 3p, 1a; Gracie Fitzgerald 2p, 3a, 4s; CJ Clark 7p, 7r; Sophia Gianfagna 5p, 2r; Gracie Hale 5p, 5r; Savannah Bartell 2r; Lois Endris 2p, 2r; Mackenzie Hashem 1r