Republished from the Jefferson City News Tribune
The Fatima Lady Comets got a little taste of everything in Friday night’s Jamboree at Helias.
Dustin Hays’ squad picked up a win, a tie and a loss, in that order, in three 12-minute scrimmages.
In the first game of the evening, Helias and Fatima were neck-and-neck throughout. Fatima held the game’s biggest lead at 18-14, but the Lady Crusaders bounced back to take a 19-18 lead on a 3-pointer by Molly Light and a putback by Darcy Baird.
There were three lead changes in the final minute. Leah Kesel gave Fatima a 20-19 lead with a shot in the paint, and Annie Bock sunk the go-ahead bucket from the free-throw line with 25 seconds remaining. The Lady Comets held on for a 22-21 win when Helias’ potential game-winner was off the mark.
Fatima was paced early by Morgan Brandt, who scored the Lady Comets’ first eight points. An all-state player last season, Brandt will be a focal point of the offense, but Hays said other players must contribute as well.
“We’ve got to have somebody else step up and score, and we didn’t see that a whole lot tonight,” Hays said. “It can’t just be what I always call the Michael Jordan effect. You can’t go watch somebody play 1-on-1. You’ve got to go out and you’ve got to want the basketball, and the other four have got to want to score for us to be successful and for us to get where we want to go.”
Fatima jumped out to an early 6-2 lead on Jefferson City, but the Lady Jays surged back with a 15-4 run. Fatima regained the lead at 19-17 but was unable to hang on, thanks to a Megan Foster layup that produced the game’s final points and tied it at 19.
The Lady Comets started strong with a 8-2 lead against Blair Oaks, but the Lady Falcons battled back to a tie with a Macyn Wilbers 3-pointer with two minutes remaining. Fatima would only score once more, a Bond layup off an offensive rebound, and Blair Oaks held on for a 16-13 win.
“Going out against this type of competition, the size of Helias, the athleticism of Jeff City, the overall shooting ability with Blair Oaks, those are things that you can’t simulate in practice,” Hays said. “To be able to see that here in short spurts is definitely a benefit for us.”
All three games involved tight finishes, which Hays said was good experience for the Lady Comets.
“We’ve already had a chance in practice to work on late-game situations and things like that, and now we get to put them into play here,” he said. “Saw some things we did well in the late-game situations. Saw some things that we didn’t and we need to improve upon. But yeah, that’s a great learning experience for them.”