Terranova, Totani lift Jackson-Milton
By Greg Gulas
Jackson-Milton struggled from the free-throw line during an Inter-Tri County League girls basketball game at McDonald, but made the shots when it counted.
Michaelina Terranova scored 19 points, Ashley Totani added 12 and the Bluejays held the Blue Devils to just two free throws over the final 5:05 as they stopped McDonald, 53-46 in Blue Tier action at Robert H. McClary Gymnasium.
That enabled Jackson-Milton to overcome a 12-of-23 performance at the line.
“We felt as if they [McDonald] wanted to slow the game down over the first three quarters, but the last quarter was fast-moving.” Terranova said. “Play really picked up in the fourth period.
“We struggled early at the free-throw line, but those are easy points so you have to take advantage when you have the opportunity.”
McDonald (10-2, 2-1) raced to an early 7-6 advantage on a bucket by Kaitlyn Totani at 1:45 of the opening quarter, but four points by Terranova keyed a 9-2 run by Jackson-Milton (12-1, 2-0) as the Bluejays built a 15-9 lead after the first eight minutes.
Jackson-Milton opened its largest lead, 25-15, on a Terranova jumper at 2:55 of the second quarter, but Sara Joseph helped McDonald finish on a 7-2 run to cut the deficit to 27-22 at intermission.
“We missed entirely too many free throws so that is something that we must correct as we move forward,” Bluejays head coach Pat Keney said. “We knew coming in that this would be a tough place to play, so at halftime I just told our players to calm down and play our game.
“We knew what they do well and how well they do it, but we made some mistakes early and that came because we were trying a little too hard. We’re walking out of here with a win and remain undefeated in the league, but we still have quite a few things that we must work on and need to fix.”
Five points by Joseph in the third quarter then helped McDonald pull to within two, 38-36, with one period remaining.
“We take it one game, one opponent and one quarter at a time, always playing hard and never looking ahead,” Totani said. “We shoot a lot of free throws in practice, but tonight was just one of those games where we struggled.”
Joseph, who had a game-high 23 points (13 in the second half), tied it at 40 on a jumper in the lane at the 5:49 mark.
A bucket by Sam Homa at the 5:05 mark gave the Blue Devils their first lead since the opening period at 42-40, but they managed just two points — on free throws by Joseph with 21 seconds remaining — the rest of the way.
“We went for the steal in the fourth quarter and if we couldn’t get it, then had to put them on the free-throw line,” Blue Devils head coach Amy Dolsak said. “Sara stepped up and did a great job of handling their pressure.”
Jackson-Milton canned 19 of 38 field goal attempts while the Blue Devils were 17 of 38.
McDonald held a 30-23 rebound advantage, with Homa grabbing 10 for a double-double.
Olivia Wolfe had eight rebounds for the Bluejays.
McDonald made nine of 18 foul shots.