Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Basketball

January 13, 2013

Lady Jackets top Crowley to close out first round of district play at 6-1

CROWLEY — The Lady Jackets completed the first round of District 8-4A play with a 6-1 record after a 50-49 win at Crowley on Friday night.

“We didn’t have our A-game tonight by any means and we were 10-of-21 at the free throw line, so we didn’t play very good by my standards,” Cleburne Coach Jamie Calahan said. “But we’ve gotten in the habit of winning and we made plays down the stretch. Even when the girls are not playing at their best, they’re always fighting and working hard.”

After Crowley held a 15-10 lead after the first quarter of play, the Lady Jackets took the lead in the second quarter and maintained the lead throughout the rest of the game. The biggest lead of the night was six points for the Lady Jackets, as it was a tightly contested game.

The Lady Jackets led by two points at halftime and at the end of the third quarter.

“Both teams really got after it defensively,” Calahan said. “We let them score a little bit more than we’d like, but they’re a good team. They’re athletic, long, and Crowley is a tough place to play. That’s the first time, me being the head coach or a varsity assistant coach, to win in Crowley. For us to go in there and get a win is huge. These games and wins have been huge lately. The kids have just battled and never stopped working.”

Cleburne sits alone in second place in district standings, one game behind Waco High at 7-0 and one game ahead of Burleson at 5-2. Crowley sits at 4-3 in district play.

“A lot of people didn’t expect 6-1,” Calahan said. “We started talking it about it last year, during the spring and summer and into the fall. We talked about what our goals were and this is what we talked about all year. I’m a firm believer that if you don’t talk about being good, you won’t be.

“We’ve been through the trenches and wars, and we’re starting to understand what it takes to make plays to win the game. I can’t say enough about being 6-1. There’s not a lot of people anywhere, in Cleburne or anywhere, that thought we’d be 6-1 after the first round of district. That’s the thing we talk about is to keep playing and earn respect. We go into every game with confidence now.”

Bria McCullough led the Lady Jackets with 18 points while Courtney Jeffcoat added nine points and four steals. Avery Hough scored six points and had eight rebounds while Hillary King added eight points.

“We didn’t shoot the ball at our best percentage, but we played hard, and that’s the thing,” Calahan said. “They always play hard and never quit and that’s what we’re hanging our hats on now. We’re very excited where we’re at, but we understand that our mission is not over and our goals are not done.”

The Lady Jackets play at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday in Everman.

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