RIPLEY – Number one is done.
First-year Georgetown girls’ basketball coach Janel Blankespoor earned her first win as a high school coach on Saturday when the Lady G-Men held on to beat Ripley, 29-26, after keeping the Lady Jays scoreless in the first quarter.
“It feels nice,” said Blankespoor. “It wasn’t pretty and I have a hard time because as a coach I feel like this wasn’t a very good win, but at the end of the day it is a win.”
Georgetown jumped out to an 8-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, which was highlighted by 3-pointers from Kim Seigla and Maddi Benjamin.
The Lady Jays finally got on the board in the second quarter on a layup from Kailee Fisher and outscored Georgetown in the frame, 8-7.
Kennedy Underwood opened the second half scoring with a 3-pointer to increase the Lady G-Men lead to 10, before eventually extending the lead to 13 after a bucket from Emilee Thomas.
Carlee Daulton was determined to keep the scrappy Lady Jays in it, scoring all 10 of her team’s points in the third quarter to trail, 27-18, heading into the fourth.
“There’s times when she’s going to force some shots, but I’ve got to live with it,” said Ripley coach Chris Coleman. “She’s one of the few offensive threats we have, so we’ve got to go with her.”
A 3-pointer from Fisher and two free throws from Daulton cut the Georgetown lead to four with 4:47 to play, but with under 2:30 to play, Thomas came down with a defensive rebound and handed the ball off to Underwood, who dribbled down the court and pulled up at the free throw line to extend the lead to six, which proved enough.
Kennedy Underwood pulls up to give Georgetown a 5 point lead over Ripley. We’ve got 1:09 left now. pic.twitter.com/8usG7w4VPF— Jared MacDonald (@JMacDonaldSport) December 2, 2017
“We’re young. We could have just crumbled, but we did just enough to get by,” said Blankespoor. “That is a positive if you want to see it that way.”
Daulton converted three more free throws in the final two minutes on her way to a game-high 16 points, but the Lady Jays were unable to get a tying shot to fall in the closing seconds.
“They play hard. That’s the only thing that kept them in the game. You’ve got to make free throws and layups to win,” said Coleman. “We kept ourselves in the game because of our effort on the defensive end of the floor. We’ve just got to execute some things on the offensive end.”
Underwood finished with 13 points for Georgetown, while Benjamin had five and Thomas had four. Georgetown moves to 1-1 with the win. The Lady G-Men host Bethel-Tate on Monday.
Behind Daulton’s 16 points was Fisher with five and Tori Lewis and Jennifer Eichner with two each. The Lady Jays fall to 0-2 and will host West Union on Monday.