Injuries plague Gryphons in loss to Mitchell
The Thomas Jefferson Lady Gryphons came into Tuesday’s game with only seven players in uniform due to injury and several players being absent for Christmas vacation.
Even so, TJCA stayed with the Mitchell Mountaineers for a quarter and a half before the lack of depth caught up with them as they eventually dropped a 62-25 decision.
“I don’t want to take anything away from Mitchell, but if we had everybody here tonight it’s a different ball game,” said coach James Greengrass. “Anytime you are missing three starters from the lineup it hurts.”
The game began sluggishly for both teams. Neither side could find the shooting touch from the field until Mitchell’s Monique Anderson connected on a layup with 5 minutes, 23 seconds left in the first quarter.
Autumn Ruppe broke the TJCA drought with a runner in the lane, but Faith Bailey answered with a three and Taylor Duncan hit midrange jumper. Victoria Bennett scored just before the buzzer but the Lady Gryphons still trailed 7-4 at the end of the first quarter.
The basketball started to fall for the visitors to start the second frame.
Mitchell did the majority of the damage in the paint with Caitlin Blevins and Sarah Robinson. TJCA tried to answer with Bennett who was fouled and went to the line numerous times.
However the Gryphons were a combined 1-9 from the charity stripe in the first half. Rachel Tevis did give her team a late lift with consecutive jumpers to cut the halftime deficit to 23-13.
The teams traded points to open the third quarter Madison Spurling garnered a basket and one of two foul shots while Bennett did the same for TJCA. However Bennett then picked up her third and fourth foul in quick succession and had to exit the contest.
With Bennett out of the game TJCA had no answer in the post and Mitchell finished the quarter on a 16-2 run to lead 42-18.
The Lady Mountaineers began the final frame on an 8-0 run that was snapped when Alyssa Edwards banked in a three pointer from the top of the key.
Tevis then hit another long two point jumper. But the Lady Gryphons could not find any rhythm falling 62-25.
Bennett led TJCA with 12 points while Blevins had a game high 13 for Mitchell.