MINERAL RIDGE – The Jackson-Milton Blue Jays and Columbiana Clippers battled down to the wire Wednesday night in a key Division IV district semi-final game, but it was the Blue Jays that survived with a 51-42 victory. The win advances the Blue Jays to the championship game Saturday afternoon to face the Western reserve Blue Devils for the district title.
With the two teams trading the lead back and forth in the first half, it appeared the Clippers were on their way to a victory when Mariah Rovnak and Baylee Mook each sank two free throws to give the Clippers a 24-16 lead at the intermission break.
But with the start of the second half it was the Blue Jays that came out with the momentum. The Jays would go on a 20-2 run to start the second half, taking a 36-26 lead with just 1:15 remaining in the third quarter.“The second half the whole team stepped up and started playing defense. We started moving our feet and not reaching,” Blue Jays Coach Pat Keney commented.
“It just killed us,” Clippers Coach Ron Moschella said of the Blue Jays run to start the second half. “I just saw the energy come out of our kids.”
“They played real well in the first half. They played hard. We weren’t doing things defensively like we were (first half). I really give credit to Jackson-Milton,” Moschella added.
The Clippers would fight back though as they it down to a 6-point game at the end of the third quarter 38-32. Then in the fourth stanza they cut the deficit down to just 3-points with 6;30 remaining, but the jays would outscore the Clippers 11-5 in the final six minutes of the contest to advance.
Courtesy: Lowell Spencer