A disastrous defensive first half put the Jacksonville College Lady Jaguars in a hole that they could not claw themselves out of Friday afternoon in a semi-final game of the Region XIV Championship Tournament at Louise Herrington Patriot Center.
After allowing the No.1-ranked Lady Cardinals (31-1) to shoot at a 62.2-percent (23 of 37) clip in the first 20 minutes of play, the Lady Jags (17-14) found themselves down by 20 points, 54-34, at intermission.
And while it may have seemed that all the Lady Cards would have to do is set things on auto pilot for the final 20 minutes, that was not the case.
The JC ladies gave a good account in the final segment, outscoring Trinity Valley, 39-30, after holding the Lady Cards to a more modest 46.2-percent (12 of 26) from the field in the last 20 minutes of the game.
JC methodically shaved the Trinity Valley advantage during the first 10:00 of the last half and got the margin down to eight points, 67-59, with 10:09 left to play after JC's Yvonne Maosa drained a three ball.
Maosa was the game's leading scorer, with 23. She also brought down seven rebounds for the Lady Jags.
But it was Trinity Valley's 5-foot-4 guard from Neches, Roddricka Patton, that turned out to be the ultimate thorn in the side of the Lady Jags.
Patton went 4 of 5 from beyond the arc in the final half, with three of those triples coming at critical times when the Lady Jags were on the verge of making the affair a two possession one.
Patton, who ended the day with 14 points, buried two three balls in a 52-second span to put Trinity Valley back in front by double digits around the nine minute mark in the game.
Over the next four minutes the ladies from Athens expanded their margin to 13, 79-66, with 4:47 left.
JC then got triples on back-to-back possession to cut the Trinity Valley edge to 79-73, with 3:27 showing on the clock.