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Junction City’s Sara Rexrode (22) drives to the hoop in a game against Manhattan on December 14. The Blue Jays lost 39-17 to the visiting Indians.

The Junction City girls’ basketball team continued their early season struggles Tuesday night, falling to Manhattan High 39-17.

Both teams did not shoot well and turned the ball over frequently, but while neither had a particularly good day offensively, Manhattan’s still was leaps and bounds better than its than the host Lady Jays.

The Indians (1-3) held Junction City scoreless through the first quarter and only allowed eight points in the second quarter, which gave Manhattan a 16-8 lead heading into the half. Junction City (0-4) did not score its first basket until the 7:45 mark of the second quarter.

Manhattan’s Grace Dixon only had six points at the half thanks in part to the Blue Jays’ zone defense, but the senior found her footing in the third and fourth quarters, when she scored nine of her 15 total points.

Indian junior Avery Larson had 10.

Lady Jay sophomore Sara Rexrode found success down low, scoring 12 to lead Junction City. No other player scored more than two points.

Manhattan held Junction City to just two points in the third quarter, stretching the lead to 16 points heading into fourth.

While the Indians extended their lead, miscues on offense continued to be a problem. The two teams combined for just 12 points in the third quarter — against 14 turnovers, five for Manhattan and nine for Junction City.

Manhattan closed with its best quarter of the night offensively — scoring 14 points in the final period — and committed just three turnovers. By the end of the game, the visitors had pushed their lead to 22.

The Lady Jays will have one more shot in 2021 to notch their first win. Junction City hosts Hayden (2-1) on Friday.

JUNCTION CITY 17, MANHATTAN 39

Junction City (0-4, 0-3) – Rexrode 5 2-2 12, Cebula 1 0-3 2, DeGuzman 1 0-0 2, O’Neal 0 1-2 1. Total: 7 3-7 17.

Manhattan (1-3, 1-2) – Dixon 7 1-2 15, Larson 4 0-0 10, Doering 4 0-0 8, Ingram 1 0-0 3, Ruliffson 1 0-0 3. Total:17 1-2 37.

3-pointers– Junction City 0, Manhattan 4 (Larson 2, Ingram, Ruliffson).

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