Jefferson girls surrender big runs in loss to Milton
MILTON — In a nonconference matchup, the Milton Red Hawk girls basketball capitalized on strong runs to open both halves to secure a 54-41 win over Jefferson on Friday night.
It was all Milton for the first 10 minutes of play, with the Red Hawks climbing to a 15-4 lead early. But hope wasn’t lost for the Eagles as they managed to get back within six, down 17-11, before the Red Hawks closed out the first half up 22-14.
The Eagles needed a good start to the second half to gain some momentum on the Red Hawks. Milton clearly had other ideas, however, as they opened the half with a 12-0 run to lead 37-14.
It took the Eagles three and a half minutes to get a basket, by which time Milton established too much of lead for Jefferson. The Red Hawks rode around a 15-point lead for much of the remainder of the game to earn their fourth win of the season.
“Tough loss for us,” Jefferson head coach Evan Hibbs said. “We knew they were going to be a good team and they proved that tonight in terms of some of the pressure they put on us and things like that. It made it a tough game for us. I was happy with getting them into foul trouble. I thought we got to the free throw line a lot, which was part of our game plan, but unfortunately fell short tonight.”
Both coaches felt that it was the early runs by the Red Hawks that sealed the game for Milton.
“I think those were the two runs that broke the game open. Going into halftime, I think it was an eight-point game, and I think that first run of the game they were up about 7-2. That was the big run that helped them to get started,” Hibbs said. “We kind of came back, but we’re down five to seven points there and at a half we’re down eight because of the initial run. Then the start of the second half, at halftime we talked about matching their intensity and starting out the half strong and unfortunately we weren’t able to do that.”
“That’s what we’ve been wanting to do,” Milton head coach Stacy Skemp said of the early leads. “We’ve done pretty well at starting the game strong, getting after it and then halftime has been hit or miss. I think if you shut down teams early, teams can’t really come back from that.”
Both Olivia Ganser and Ainsley Howard scored 11 points for the Eagles, with Josie Peterson and Claire Beck each adding seven. For the Red Hawks, Shelby Mack-Honold scored 20, with Abbey Falk (14) and Chloe Buescher (13) also crossing doubles digits.
While it was a comfortable win for the Red Hawks, Skemp said they could’ve been in more control.
“I thought at a couple points we could’ve completely put them away. Missed a bunch of bunnies, but still a good win to get,” she said. “They’re in our regionals again, seeding-wise. They’re like us, they don’t play a lot of common opponents, so it’s a good win to get for the future. Saw some great things on our press.”
From the line, Jefferson went 12-17, while Milton shot 8-14.
“At times we struggled, at times we did fine,” Hibbs said. “We’ll just use it as a learning experience. We have young kids on our team and we’ll get better. There were bright moments. It wasn’t all negative.”
Jefferson will be off until Jan. 4, when it hosts Edgerton at 7:15 p.m.
Jefferson 14 27 — 41
Milton 22 32 — 54
Jefferson (fg-ft-tp) — Ganser 4-3-11, Howard 3-4-11, H. Peterson 1-1-3, J. Peterson 2-3-7, Beck 3-1-7, Fox 1-0-2. Totals — 14-12-41.
Milton (fg-ft-tp) — Buescher 5-3-13, Hanke 1-1-4, Campion 1-0-2, Falk 6-1-14, Mack-Honold 9-2-20, Weberpal 0-1-1. Totals — 22-8-54.
3-pointers — J Howard; M Hanke, Falk.
Total Fouls — J 13, M 21.