With a home victory last Friday over Ft. Zumwalt North, Washington took sole possession of first place in the GAC Central girls basketball standings.
The Lady Jays (11-10, 4-1) held the lead for most of the game in a 43-33 victory. The GAC Central race has come down to Washington, Ft. Zumwalt North and Ft. Zumwalt South. North and South both are 4-2 in the conference.
The Lady Jays have conference games remaining Tuesday against Ft. Zumwalt South and also against Holt and Ft. Zumwalt East.
“We’re improving every time we are on the floor,” said Washington Head Coach Adam Fischer. “As a coach, that’s all I can ask for.”
It was a big first half for the Lady Jays against North, who held a 29-12 halftime advantage.
“We got off to a good start in the first half on the defensive end of the floor,” Fischer said. “Our defense led to some easy baskets for us in transition. Our girls made the extra pass so we could get the best shot available.”
Courtney Kedroski led a balanced scoring attack for Washington with 12 points, eight rebounds and four steals.
Paige Carpenter finished the game with eight points, three steals and two rebounds.
Kaitlin Evans collected seven points and nine rebounds.
Kirstie Leslie had six points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Helena Ballmann added four points and two rebounds.
Megan Bauche did not score, but had nine assists, four rebounds and three steals.
Rachel Kackley collected two rebounds, one assist and one steal.
Megan Freitag added a steal.
There wasn’t much scoring in the third quarter as both teams scored four points, making Washington’s lead 33-16.
In the fourth quarter, a three-pointer by Carpenter extended the Lady Jays’ lead to 38-19 with 5:50 left on the clock.
Carpenter and Kedroski both knocked down a pair of three-pointers in the contest.
Ft. Zumwalt North (8-14) made a mild run in the final five minutes, but not near enough to pull even.
“Our girls played a great all-around basketball game. After halftime, I think we relaxed a little bit with the lead we had and Ft. Zumwalt North really came after us with more pressure,” Fischer said. “We didn’t struggle with their pressure, but we also weren’t attacking it like we did in the first half. We did an excellent job team rebounding.”
Washington received the third seed for the Class 5 District 10 Tournament Feb. 23-28 at Rolla High School.
The Lady Jays open the tournament against second-seeded Rolla Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m.