Young J-Hawks break home losing streak

ROCKFORD – Jefferson won its first girls basketball home game in eight years by outscoring Belvidere 6-3 in overtime without its top two scorers.

Camron Blank, who scored 29 points for Jefferson, and Karley Colson, who added seven, both fouled out in the final minute of regulation. Jefferson went into overtime tied at 38 with the Bucs with five players who had scored two points.

Karysa Alsup, though, scored three in the extra session, Myla Singleton two and Alexis Trousdale added a free throw, and it was enough for the J-Hawks to win at Jefferson for the first time since the 2010-2011 season.

In 2009-2010, led by Alexandria Curry, the J-Hawks went 6-10 in the NIC-10. The 2010-2011 team fell to 3-13. Between 2011-2012 and 2016-2017, Jefferson won just four conference games, all on the road or at Rock Valley College.

The program had fallen so far that it didn’t field a varsity team in 2017-2018. This year’s squad features three freshman, four sophomores and one junior. Saturday’s win snapped a 23-game conference losing streak – not including last season’s forfeits. Blank said it’s been a struggle facing more experienced teams every time out.

“You go into some games feeling like there’s really no hope,” Blank, one of the four sophomores, after celebrating with sodas and cookies. “This means so much because it’s going to give us confidence.”

Jefferson coach Maurice Smith said the fact that the J-Hawks pulled out the win without Blank and Colson, a freshman, shows that they are starting to learn how to win.

“We’ve talked about just focusing on getting better and not worrying about the results,” Smith said. “They’ve continued to work hard and get better. They trust what we’re trying to do here.”

Jefferson finished NIC-10 play at 1-17 and are 3-25 overall heading into Monday’s regional game against Belvidere North. Jefferson is hosting the regional.

Posted on 02.09.19