VERSAILLES – Versailles decisively took command of Saturday’s game during a three-minute span that closed the first half and opened the second to give the Tigers a 52-37 win over the visiting Lady Tigers of Jackson Center.
With 1:11 remaining until the half and trailing 24-20 Versailles’ 6-foot 2-inch sophomore Danielle Winner was able to grab a key offensive rebound after a missed free throw to continue an offensive possession. Senior Logan Shimp proceeded to connect on a momentum-building triple from the right wing and then made another from the right baseline to give the V-Lady Tigers a 26-24 lead. Kami McEldowney capped the 8-0 closing run with a steal and lay-in to give Versailles a 28-24 halftime lead.
“She stepped in, she took those two threes,” Versailles girls basketball coach Jacki Stonebraker said on Logan Shimp. “They weren’t coming out from the box … she had wide open looks, and she drained them. Those shots are huge for her and for our team. We know that she’s an outside shooter, and that’s her role for our team, and when she can play that role it’s very positive.”
Versailles opened the second half with a quick 7-2 surge. The defense created two turnovers that led to breakout field goals, and McEldowney added a trey. In just three minutes of clock time Jackson Center had gone from a four-point lead to trailing 35-26. The teams matched baskets the rest of the period, making the score 39-30 Versailles with eight minutes remaining.
Versailles’ defense continued strong in the fourth quarter. After allowing just six points in the third the home team followed that effort by limiting Jackson Center to just seven in the fourth. Versailles outscored JC 13-7 to arrive at the final score.
The Tigers, both Jackson Center and Versailles, opened the game with active man-to-man defenses that looked to deny the interior pass. Jackson Center, however, had no answer for Lauren Monnin in the opening stanza. The senior forward scored all 10 Versailles points on different moves in and around the paint. Jackson Center got a late 3-pointer from junior Kamryn Elchert to tie the game at 10 after one quarter.
“She (Monnin) did a nice job coming out on fire,” Coach Stonebraker said. “She led us at the very beginning of the game. Once they had to collapse on her and collapse on Danielle it really opened up the perimeter.”
The second period saw the teams alternate baskets for nearly all of the firsts seven minutes. This quarter Versailles would get more team members involved offensively as seven players scored. Jackson Center got a strong effort from senior Nicole Fogt who netted 12 the 14 JC-Lady Tiger points.
“Not the prettiest record in the sectional, but we have the hardest schedule in the sectional,” Coach Stonebraker said about the upcoming sectional drawing. “I don’t know if they would choose our schedule. We are battle-tested. We’re ready to go. Every game is a tough game for us.”
Fogt led all scorers with 16 while Peyton Esser added nine more for Jackson Center. The trio of Monnin, McEldowney and Winner contributed 14, 11 and 10 points respectively for Versailles.
Versailles moved to 13-6 with the victory and 3-4 in the Midwestern Athletic Conference. Jackson Center fell to 10-6.
Versailles Lady Tigers’ junior varsity closed out their game on a 50-6 run over nearly three quarters to defeat Jackson Center 62-14. Twelve reserve players marked the scorebook as the Versailles junior varsity is now 15-3 on the season.
Jackson Center – 37
Esser 9, Elchert 3, Meyer 2, Fogt 16, Clark 5, Ware 2.
Versailles – 52
McEldowney 11, Watren 2, Blakeley 2, K Ording 2, Schmitmeyer 3, Peters 2, Shimp 6, Winner 10, Monnin 14.
3-pointers: JC: 4 (Esser, Elchert, Fogt 2); Vers: 3 ( McEldowney, Shimp 2).
Free throws: JC: 7-8; Vers: 9-21.