ANDERSON — Shooting about as poorly as possible to still have a chance to win, Anderson Prep did everything else well enough to open the season with a girls basketball victory Thursday.
The Jets finally warmed up in the fourth quarter to forge a 10-point lead and then hold off Wes-Del 52-49.
“We aren’t a good shooting team,” said Jets coach Jessica Hornocker. “In general, girls just aren’t. We talked about expecting a shot to miss and crash the boards instead of watching the beauty of the shot.”
Nobody did that better than junior Chelsea Klepfer, who transferred a year ago from Pendleton Heights.
“She is that role player,” said Hornocker. “You have to know the game to know the value she gives us. She rebounds, and she sets screens. The players with great stats will get their stats. It is up to people like her to do those other things.”
She did lots of other things. She had 14 rebounds to go with her eight points. She took just four shots and hit half of them. That’s a lot better than the rest of the team that combined to go 14-of-55 from the field.
Actually, APA warmed to hit 8-of-13 in an 18-point final quarter.The Jets led 44-34 on a 3-pointer by Madison Stamm, who paced the team with 20 points. The Warriors answered with an 8-2 run that made it 46-42 with 2:42 to go.
Lauryn Johnson hit the third of her trio of 3-pointers in the final stanza to cut the gap to 46-45. Stamm answered with a field goal. Savannah Prewett hit two free throws with 29 seconds left to make it 50-45.
Wes-Del’s Izzy Mitchell scored with 20 seconds remaining, and the Warriors called time out. Mitchell led the visitors with 18 points.
When the two teams came out onto the court, the Warriors showed a full-court press. Hornocker called a timeout.
“We set up the play (to send Prewett streaking toward the basket),” Hornocker said. “There was a lot of pressure on her. If she misses it, they still have a chance to beat us. If she hits it, it locks the game up.”
But even before that, the pass has to be perfect. They trusted that job to Stamm.
“Maddie is a real solid player, and we trusted her with that,” said Hornocker.
The pass was on target, and Prewett didn’t miss the layup. And the opener belonged to Anderson Prep.
Prewett finished with 12 points despite 4-of-21 shooting from the field, but she was 4-of-4 from the free-throw line and had eight boards. Tommya Davis was also valuable with 10 points, including, at one point, hitting six straight free throws.
“I am really happy with the effort,” said Hornocker. “We’re in great shape. I thought we could wear them down.”
This seemed to be true, even though the Jets used seven players in the game and the Warriors used 10 in the first quarter.
“We’ve got some things to work on obviously,” said Hornocker. “But the girls listened. When we called time out, they tried to do what we asked.”
The Jets are next in action Saturday against Daleville.