DELPHOS – At times, the first half of Monday’s nonconference girls basketball game between Delphos Jefferson and Fort Jennings resembled a track meet.
Jefferson raced out to a 35-18 lead by the halftime break and never looked back, en route to a 58-49 victory on its home court.
Jefferson’s defensive pressure wreaked havoc on Fort Jennings, forcing 30 turnovers – 16 of those coming in the first half. Jefferson turned the ball over 18 times on the night.
Sarah Miller led Delphos Jefferson (12-8) with 17 points, including 12 points in the first half. Miller also pulled down eight rebounds and made three steals at the defensive end. Alli McClurg scored 11 points and had five boards.
Kristen Luersman led Fort Jennings (4-16) with 18 points and six rebounds. Madison Neidert scored 12 points and came away with seven rebounds.
“We lost a little intensity or a little focus there for a while, and we didn’t take care of the ball,” longtime Jefferson coach David Hoffman said about the second half. “But, we jumped out very well in the first half – both offensively and defensively.”
Jefferson started a little slow in the first quarter, but eventually pulled out to a 15-8 lead by the first stop.
The Musketeers turned the ball over 10 times in the first eight minutes of action as Jefferson’s half-court defense quickly closed the passing lanes.
Jefferson led 48-32 by the end of the third quarter.
Fort Jennings outscored Jefferson 31-23 in the second half.
“We didn’t run the offense as well as we needed to,” Hoffman said about the second half. “I thought we passed the ball very well to start with and made some nice conversions, and our defense was pretty good. I was also pleased with our post play.”
Fort Jennings won the battle on the boards, 38-30.