The Jennings County High School girls basketball team traveled to Seymour on Tuesday night with only one goal; win the game and bust the slump. The Lady Panthers had been coming off two straight losses that started at Brownsburg with a loss to Fremd, and was followed by a 13 point loss to East Central on Saturday.
While their start looked slow, Jennings County was able to get back on track with a 20-point win at Seymour, 48-28.
“It’s Seymour. That’s what we told the kids before the game. If you can’t get up and be ready to play Seymour, then there is not a lot we can do,” said JCHS Head Coach Kristi Sigler. “They were ready to go, and I thought their energy and enthusiasm helped them do their job well tonight.”
The Lady Panthers started off hot on an 8-2 run, with junior Juliann Woodard scoring all eight points before the Owls would score twice more to end the quarter 8-6. Jennings County extended their lead in the second quarter, but to fans in attendance, it seemed the Seymour defense had a chokehold on the Lady Panthers, holding them to just 19 points in the half. JC took a 19-11 lead into the break.
On the other side of halftime, it seemed a different Lady Panther squad had came to play, as they outscored Seymour 29-17 in the final half to take the win. When it came down to the offensive changes that helped the Lady Panthers compete better against the Seymour defense in the second half, Coach Sigler noted that it came down to hitting shots.
“Defensively, Seymour is very good, and they hold their opponents to 33 points per game. They want to control the tempo and pace. We talked about getting out and running in transition and getting easy baskets and second chance points. We did a lot of that in the second half.”
For fans that have been following the Lady Panthers, it is well known that the star of the team is Juliann Woodard. Last year when Jennings County also fielded Alivia Elmore, the scoring load was usually split between the two, but with Elmore sidelined for the season with an ACL injury, Woodard has been all alone in that front. At the end of the third quarter, Juliann had scored 62% of the Lady Panthers’ points in the game, and Coach Sigler notes that this is a conversation that takes place often in the locker room.
“We talk about this everyday. We can’t just stand around and watch Juliann go to work. We have to have people that want to be a scorer, that means putting extra time in and getting more shots up in the gym. We had plenty of open looks in the first half, we just didn’t knock them down, and we have to be able to hit those with confidence.”
#00 Juliann Woodard: 23 PTS, 8 2-PT FG, 1 3-PT FG, 4/4 FT, 3 PF
#33 Manto Vadell: 8 PTS, 2 2-PT FG, 1 3-PT FG, 1/2 FT, 3 PF
#3 Abrey Belding: 5 PTS, 1 2-PT FG, 1 3-PT FG
#31 Mollie Ernstes: 5 PTS, 1 2-PT FG, 1 3-PT FG, 2 PF
#5 Maddie McIntosh: 4 PTS, 2 2-PT FG, 1 PF
#25 Alexis Carson: 3 PTS, 1 3-PT FG
The Lady Panthers continue their road stand this Saturday with a conference game at New Albany. The Bulldogs are 1-10 this season with their only win taking place in their opening game against Evansville Bosse, 60-18. Last season, Jennings County was victorious in the matchup, 53-43. The JV game will tip-off at noon, with the varsity game around 1:30 p.m.
Jennings County will stay on the road on Tuesday when they take on Rushville. The Lions are 4-3 this season with wins over New Castle, Eastern Hancock, South Dearborn, and Union County. Last year saw the Lady Panthers win by 23 points. The game will take place at 6 p.m.