Lady Bluejays take advantage of shorthanded SHS
CHARLESTON -- The Lady Bluejays captured their second win of the season Thursday night after beating arch-rival Sikeston 44-29.
The Lady Bulldogs had a hard time finding a handle on things without senior point guard Amber Minner, who was out due to sickness, as numerous turnovers and an unsteady tempo seemed to plague the visiting team throughout.
"Well, there's an old saying," said Sikeston head coach Homer Jackson, after suffering the loss to Charleston. "You don't miss your water until the well runs dry and tonight our well was Amber Minner.
"She is our floor leader and she always seems to bring out a calming effect to our team. Without her here tonight, we were kind of disjointed and out of sync."
The visiting Bulldogs appeared to be doing well after the opening tip-off, jumping out to a 6-2 lead and a 10-7 advantage by the end of the first quarter. But it was at the start of the second quarter that the home team began to heat up as the duo of Jerquawnda Sherrell and Cedrica Rodgers went on to score all 12 of Charleston's second quarter points.
And while this duo was taking care of things on the offensive end, the Bluejay defense also did it's part, holding the Lady Bulldogs to five in the second period as they headed into the locker room at halftime up 19-15.
Each team started the second half trading baskets but it was home team that managed to gain an upper hand as they extend their lead to seven, 29-22, heading into the final period. This would be as close as Sikeston would get as timely baskets and free throws down the stretch iced the game for Bluejays.
"After you've lost 15 in-a-row we just told the kids we've got to keep playing," said Charleston head coach Michael Minner. "Wins or losses don't matter, we just want to play hard and continue to get better.
"We've worked really hard in practice all season long and it finally showed tonight against a team that has played real well this season," he added. "I'm just excited for the kids and our program for getting the win and I couldn't be prouder of them."
The tandem of Sherrell and Rodgers led the way for the Bluejays as each combined to score 40 of Charleston's 44 points in the game. Sherrell finished with 18 while Rodgers finished with 22.
"Jerquawnda (Sherrell) is our point guard and does a fabulous job of taking care of the ball and really did a great job of being a leader," said Minner. "Cedrica (Rodgers) also did an excellent job stepping up, hitting free throws down the stretch and I'm really proud with both of them."
Sikeston was lead by sophomore Monika Gray-El who managed 15 points. And while his team didn't come out on the winning end, Jackson is still happy with his squad.
"I thought our girls demonstrated very good sportsmanship in the face of defeat tonight," said Jackson. "The Charleston girls came out well prepared and played well tonight. But our girls hustled, played hard and can always use this as a learning experience."
The Lady Bluejays (2-15) will go for back-to-back wins Monday when they travel to Chaffee to take on the Lady Red Devils at 6 p.m. Sikeston (6-15) will hope to be full strength by Monday as they try to bounce back in their final home game of the season against the Cape Central Lady Tigers. Tip off will be tossed at 6 p.m.