Break, Jay can't cool down NMS boys
Published 9:40 pm Wednesday, November 29, 2006
By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
A 13-day layoff between games was one concern. So was Jay's imposing front line that often contained three players six feet or taller.
Neither was enough to stop the W.S. Neal Middle School Blue Eagles, as they improved to 3-1 on the season with a 31-26 victory at NMS Monday.
The Blue Eagles, who never trailed after the first quarter, managed to stay a step ahead of the much taller Royals most of the game.
The Blue Eagles never trailed after Quinton Burnett's field goal gave them a 6-5 lead with a minute left in the first quarter.
Although Jay never led again, it managed to stay within striking distance until the waning moments.
The Royals forced a 7-7 tie on Tanner Laney's bucket at the first quarter buzzer and tied the game again at 9-9 on two free throws by Conner Weekes in the opening minute of the second period.
W.S. Neal took the lead for the remainder of the field half on a bucket by Ashton Elliott and had an 11-10 lead at halftime.
The Blue Eagles took their biggest lead through the first three quarters when Quinton Burnett's bucket gave them a 15-10 lead early in the third quarter.
Jay battled back and caught the Blue Eagles at 19-19 with 4:45 left before Kenny Kiser put W.S. Neal back in front, this time to stay. Kiser, who led all scorers with 16 points, got 11 of those in the final four minutes of the game. Six of those points came on three fastbreak buckets in a two-minute stretch that opened up a 31-23 lead with just under two minutes left.
A scoreless fourth quarter cost the W.S. Neal girls a chance for their first win of the season, as they fell to Jay 21-8.
While the Lady Royals led from start to finish, Jay had just a 10-8 lead headed into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Royals scored the game's final 11 points. Most of that damage came at the free throw line where Jay hit seven of 15 fourth quarter attempts.
Early on it looked as if Jay might coast to victory. The Lady Royals opened up a 7-2 lead in through one quarter, but W.S. Neal's defense stiffened and allowed just one field goal and three total points over the next 12 minutes.
W.S. Neal whittled away at its deficit. A second quarter field goal by Angelique Askew and two third quarter baskets by Megan Andrews reduced Jay's lead to just 10-8 before the visitors went on the decisive fourth quarter run.
W.S. Neal, which played at Ernest Ward Tuesday, hosts Carver Thursday. Play gets underway at 3 p.m. with the girls game.
Jay 7 1 2 11 – 21
W.S. Neal 2 2 4 0 – 8
W.S. NEAL- Andrews 4, J. Hunter 2, Askew 2
Jay 7 3 5 11 – 26
W.S. Neal 7 4 8 12 - 31
W.S. NEAL- Kiser 16, Burnett 6, Travis 5, Elliott 2, Campbell 2