JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. – The Jeffersonville High School girls basketball team rallied in the final minute and slipped past arch rival New Albany 41-39 Friday night at Johnson Arena.
With the win, the Red Devils (14-7, 7-0 Hoosier Hills) completed an undefeated campaign in their conference for the first time in eight years.
“We just didn’t have any intention of sharing it,” Jeffersonville coach Mike Warren said. “It’s big for the program. These girls weren’t going to give up.”
For the Red Devils, it seemed rather dire after New Albany’s Marissa Jones hit 1 of 2 free throws with 2:51 left in the contest and the Bulldogs (14-6, 4-2) led 39-35. After freshman sensation Nan Garcia hit two free throws and Jacinta Gibson — who led Jeff with 17 points on the night — hit one, Jeff sliced the deficit to 39-38 with 1:31 remaining.
It stayed 39-38 until the Red Devils’ Jhala Henry got fouled while attempting a 3-pointer with 31 seconds left. She hit 2 of 3 and the Red Devils took a 40-39 lead. On Henry’s miss on the third attempt, Jeff’s Jaylynn Brown gathered the loose ball and she was fouled with 26 seconds left. She hit 1 of 2 free throws to give Jeff a 41-39 edge.
On New Albany’s next possession, Earlean Davis drove the baseline and tried to find Chyna Anthony, who couldn’t grab it and the Red Devils forced a jump ball. The hosts took possession but Tori Handley missed both of her free throws at the other end with 2.9 seconds left to give New Albany one last opportunity. However, it wasn’t to be as Jones’ 50-footer at the buzzer fell short.
“It was a good ball game,” New Albany coach Tammy Geron said. “I thought both teams played hard.”
Geron said the Bulldogs simply needed to take care of the ball.
“I said our turnovers needed to stay under 12,” said the New Albany coach, whose team committed 19. “That didn’t happen. You can’t simulate their pressure in practice.”
Anthony, who sat for much of the first half with two fouls, led New Albany with 13 points.
“Kudos to them,” Geron said. “I didn’t think anybody would go undefeated in the conference this year, and they did. They made it happen.”
JEFFERSONVILLE 41, NEW ALBANY 39
NEW ALBANY (14-6, 4-2 HHC)
Julyen Condra 5p, Alayasia Douglas 1p, Chyna Anthony 13p, Marissa Jones 4p, Earlean Davis 9p, Kelsy Taylor 7p.
JEFFERSONVILLE (14-7, 7-0 HHC)
Jaylynn Brown 5p; Jacinta Gibson 17p; Jhala Henry 6p; Britney Epperson 1p; Jaelyn Lee 3p, Nan Garcia 9p