The Somerset High School Lady Briar Jumpers basketball team pulled away from the East Jessamine Jaguars late to obtain a 45-35 victory in their first game of the season last night at Somerset.
Not only was it a season-opening win for the Lady Jumpers, but it was the first carer coaching win for their first-year coach Casey Rexroat.
"It was a very ugly first half, neither team could get in an offensive flow," Rexroat stated. "We missed a lot of inside looks in the first half. Our lack of finishing made it much closer than it should have been. Had missed free throws throughout the game, but hit them down the stretch."
"Addi Bowling helped us control the ball offensively," Rexroat added. "Ashley Holt was our main offensive threat in the first three quarters. Madison Garland and Lauren Foutch took over offensively and were clutch at the free throw line down the stretch."
At the start of the final period, the Lady Jumpers led 24-20. Senior forward Lauren Foutch opened up the quarter with a nice three-point basket, and from there, Somerset began to pull away.
Freshman guard Jermyra Christian put in two layups early in fourth quarter as well to keep the Jaguars close behind the Jumpers. However, a shot under the basket by junior Madison Garland and another three ball by Foutch pushed the Jumper lead to 32-27.
With the close lead, the Lady Jumpers began to make hard runs at the basket to try and extend their lead. First Garland powered her way inside for a contested layup, and then senior Ashley Holt did the same thing except she drew a foul as well.
The and one bucket by Holt put Somerset ahead 37-28 but again Christian did everything she could to get her Jaguars back into it. Following Holt's basket, Christian scored on back to back driving layups to cut the lead back to five.
Although Christian's effort was relentless, the time was ticking, and East Jessamine was forced to foul. Foutch and Garland were each fouled twice, and both were able to hit all of their free throws. The free baskets closed out the game with the Lady Jumpers on top 45-35.
Early in the game, both teams fought the offseason rust off. Each team also displayed physicality on defense and the opening quarter was rather quiet offensively.
Junior guard Addi Bowling scored the opening point off a free throw after drawing a foul. Bowing drew a couple more fouls throughout the period but struggled to put in her free throws.
The Lady Jumpers tried to get the three-ball going throughout the period, but they were off and missed all five of their attempts.
Holt put in a pair of layups including a driving layup after stealing the ball away. Holt's buckets put the Jumpers up 5-4 late in the quarter.
Towards the end of the opening period Christian pushed through the contact to send in the layup and received the and one opportunity. Christian put in the free throw to put the Jaguars up 7-5 heading into the second quarter.
Christian was successful on another driving layup at the start of the second quarter, but Foutch wasted no time cutting into the lead with her first three-point basket of the game to put the East Jessamine lead at just one point.
The lead changed a couple times throughout the quarter, but Holt put her Lady Jumpers back in the lead at 15-13 with back to back layups. Following the buckets by Holt, freshman guard Kayleigh Bartley sent in a mange-range shot that put Somerset up 17-13 heading into the break.
After halftime, the offense was seemingly heating up as Holt knocked down a three pointer and put in a layup early. On the other side, Christian and Iesha Dean were seeing some offensive success as well. However, the defenses began to lock down the offenses again, and the Jumpers went into the final period with a 24-20 lead.
The Jumpers fourth quarter performance gave them not only their first win of the season, but it also gave their new head coach, Casey Rexroat his first win. Rexroat came from a successful Casey County girl's program, and he looks to bring some of that success with him to Somerset.
The Lady Jumpers will be back in action on Friday, Dec. 6, when they host Madison Southern High School at the Briar Patch.