Last week when the Lady Blue Jays defeated the Topeka West Lady Chargers they ended a two year losing streak. Friday night, the team snapped a 757 day streak at Shenk Gymnasium earning their first home victory since Jan. 2018.
“It's huge for the girls,” said coach Tim Testa. “We talked about in the locker room just real quick after, after we got the Queen crowned, and I told the girls that one of these days we're going to win the league or we're going to win a state championship. And we're going to talk a lot about this group, and kind of just the groundwork that they've laid — the work that they put in with a new guy coming in and a new system coming in — and just talk about the belief that they've had in us. The rough road that they've had. And just how proud of them we are.”
The Lady Jays jumped out early and never let up as they continued to find the net on their way to the 13-9 lead in the opening quarter.
The second quarter started with sophomore Jayda Harris hitting the first of two from the charity stripe kicking off a 11-2 run for the Lady Jays.
In total, Junction City added 15 second quarter points while holding Topeka West to eight points entering the break.
While in the locker room, Testa talked to the girls about the finer things the team struggles with in the first half that would have expanded the teams lead had they accomplished them already.
“We didn't talk a lot of basketball at halftime,” Testa said. “We talked a lot about, I guess it's basketball but not X's and O's, just finishing layups and make free throws and we'll be up by 20.”
Topeka West talked regrouping at the break and it showed as they cut into the Lady Blue Jay lead pulling within one point late before Harris landed a layup with .8-seconds on the clock to give Junction City the 37-34 lead heading into the final quarter.
The final quarter was a scoring fest as Junction City rolled on a 9-2 run to stretch their lead to 10 points.
With 2:31 left in the game Testa called a fill timeout to refocus the team.
“Late in the game, like that, it's a lot about focus,” he said. “It's a lot about doing the little things and not doing silly things and doing what we can control, not what Topeka West can control.”
The main thing Junction City could control was how aggressive they were on defense by not fouling and giving Topeka West the opportunity at cheap shots from the charity stripe.
Unfortunately, the team caused several fouls in the last 2-minutes giving the Lady Chargers multiple trips to the line where they were unsuccessful at making free throws.
The Lady Blue Jays calmly worked through the last minute of the game before the final buzzer sounded giving them the 53-46 homecoming victory.
With the victory, the Lady Blue Jays prepare to travel to Topeka Seaman on Tuesday and defend Shenk Gymnasium Friday for senior night against Emporia.
“It'll be great to honor Alyssa (Grygier), Madison (Escobar) and Savannah (Adams),” Testa said. “They've done a lot of good stuff for us. And I think that they are three pretty dang good examples of what we want our basketball players to look like for the future girls.”
After the game, the Lady Jays got one more reason to celebrate as Adams was crowned the 2020 Winter Homecoming Queen alongside senior Qua’Vez Humphreys from the boys team.