Huskies tame Jaguars in basketball opener

BREAKING AWAY — Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther guard Jayme Balcom (5) pushes the basketball up the court as Jaguar teammate Lydia Studer (left) fills the passing lane during season-opening action Tuesday night in Jackson. The Jaguars’ Rachel Stauter (51), along with JCC’s Sadie Voss (3) and Jordan Rogotzke (23), trail the play. (Photo by Greg Abel)

JACKSON — Alaina Wolff’s 19 points helped carry the Jackson County Central Huskies to an 84-44 win over the Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther Jaguars in both teams’ season-opening basketball matchup Tuesday night in Jackson.

Wolff wasn’t the lone Husky in double digits, Sadie Voss dropped 15, Melissa Brandt contributed 13 and Sophie Lovell knocked down 11 points in the matchup.

Lydia Studer and Rachel Stauter both scored double digits for the Jaguars with 14 and 10, respectively.

The Jaguars won the opening tip-off and scored the first basket of the season, but that would be their only lead of the game.

After Michaelah Petrowiak scored off an assist from Jayme Balcom after the tip, the Huskies scored nine consecutive points to take a lead they would keep throughout the matchup. The streak was broken when the first foul of the foul-filled matchup came from JCC’s Kailey Koep.

Studer was sent to the free throw line for the Jaguars and sank both attempts.

The first half saw 27 fouls combined — 12 from the Jaguars and 15 from the Huskies. The Jaguars entered the bonus with 9:33 remaining in the first half and the double bonus with 6:37 left. The Huskies got the bonus with 7:23 left and the double with 2:47 remaining before intermission.

The Jaguars were able to take advantage of the many free throw opportunities, shooting 18-for-29 from the line for a 62 percent rate, helped by Studer’s 8 of 9 effort at the stripe. The Huskies shot 13 of 22 for a 59 percent, carried by Brandt’s 5-for-5 game.

At the 12:12 mark in the first half, the Jaguars called their first timeout with the score set at 20-6 Huskies. The Jaguars would not get within 10 points at any time after.

Studer’s nine first-half points kept the Jaguars involved, but JCC pulled away to a 45-23 margin by the half.

Jaguar head coach TJ Pytleski said the team has things to figure out, but it was nice to get the season started.

“Obviously you don’t like the results, but it’s good to start the season,” Pytleski said. “It’s much better to get the girls out and see them against different competition, otherwise they’re just playing each other. We’ve got a lot of stuff we need to work on. Turnovers are going to kill you in any game and we struggled to get the ball into our offense. I thought when we were able to get our offense going, we did a good job, but we just had too many turnovers trying to get the ball into our offense.”

JCC opened its lead further in the second half.

Wolff contributed eight second-half points, while Alicia Brandt put up seven and Melissa Brandt knocked down six.

Stauter led the Jaguars in the second haf with 10 points, including back-to-back 3-point shots, while Studer had five second-half points.

Stauter and Lydia Steinhaus led the Jaguars with five rebounds apiece, while Petrowiak had four. Balcom led the team in assists with six.

Koep played a big role in the JCC defense with four steals, while Voss had three steals and two assists.

Pytleski said it’s nice to open the season with a team that comes up again later in the schedule because it’s a good measuring stick on improvement.

“This is a gauge on where we go,” Pytleski said. “We get to play these girls again in a tournament for Christmas, so it will be interesting to see how we progressed. I’ll measure us and how we’re doing at that point.”

The Jaguars (0-1) travel to Wells on Thursday night to play United South Central, while JCC (1-0) travels to Marshall on Thursday night.

GHEC/Truman/Martin Luther (44)

Jayme Balcom 1-5 4-6 6, Lydia Studer 3-8 8-9 14, Abby Calkins 1-3 1-4 3, Michaelah Petrowiak 2-5 0-0 4, Rachel Stauter 3-8 2-2 10.

Jackson County Central (84)

Sadie Voss 6-15 1-2 15, Melissa Brandt 6-7 1-2 13, Kailey Koep 3-5 0-1 6, Alicia Brandt 2-3 5-5 9, Alaina Wolff 8-12 0-2 19, Sophie Lovell 5-5 1-2 11, Jordan Rogotzke 2-3 4-6 8.

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