Jacksonville Daily Progress
Upsets are as much a part of the game of basketball as slam dunks and free throws and perhaps the most significant shocker of the District 16-4A season thus far took place Friday night at Dragon Coliseum where the Jacksonville Fight'n Maidens served up a 55-45 upset to a talented Nacogdoches team that entered play in second place in the league race.
The Jacksonville win propelled the Maidens to 2-3 at the halfway point of conference and put the squad back into the thick of the playoff scene -the Jacksonville girls are 15-13 overall.
On the flip side, the Lady Dragons are now 18-10, 3-2.
Nacogdoches held a slim lead lead for most of the night, until an unlikely hero stepped up at a critical moment and turned things in favor of the Maidens once and for all.
With the game tied at 38 with just over four minutes to play in the game, Jacksonville's Chancii Scott was fouled hard while going up for a shot and was forced to the sidelines for a brief while to be looked at by a trainer after she came crashing down under the basket.
Jacksonville head coach Tony Harris then sent Aisha Griffin in to shoot Scott's pair of free throws.
Griffin had not seen action in the game up until that point.
Griffin sank the first shot, giving Jacksonville a 39-38 advantage, but missed the second try from the charity stripe.
Eight seconds later the Lady Dragons moved ahead when Justice Lockett dropped in a deuce.
But on the Maidens' next trip down the floor Griffin canned a catch-and-shoot trey from the left corner that gave Jacksonville a 42-40 lead, and more importantly a huge shot of momentum.
From that point on the Maidens bowed up on both ends of the floor and closed the game out by outscoring the Lady Dragons 13-5.
"Our kids played well together tonight, even when they got down," Harris said. "I think they did a tremendous job defensively against a very worthy opponent. (Nacogdoches' Charity Page) and (Justice Lockett) are great post players and they are not easy to defend."
The Maidens not only held Nacogdoches to over 10 points below their average points per game figure, they also coerced the Lady Dragons to turn the ball over an uncharacteristic 30 times.
Jacksonville outscored Nacogdoches 27-14 in the critical final segment.
The Maidens profited from 10-of-13 shooting from the free throw line in the last frame, but the Maidens also hit 8-of-14 (57.1 %) from the field during the quarter.
Sametria Baker drained 5-of-6 from the charity mark and Scott made good on 4-of-5 attempts.
"We made our free throws when the game was still undecided and that played a big part in our win," Harris said.
Scott and Jasmine Parson tied for game-high honors with 17 points each.
All of Scott's came in the second half, with Parson hitting 11 of her points in the opening half.
Parson also led the Maidens in rebounding with nine.
Keevie Mathis went 4-of-5 from the field and ended up with eight points for the winners.
Harris said this win should serve to breath new life into his team.
"Every game counts now," he said. "We have a lot to play for."
Scott offered these comments following the game.
"The big thing is we played together as a team tonight," she said. "It makes a difference when we do that and we can accomplish am lot if we can just continue to work together."
Page paced the Lady Dragon effort with 13 points while E. J. Johnson put in a dozen.