Lady Jays Cruise Past Ft. Zumwalt North

Washington's Courtney Kedroski moves in for a shot between Ft. Zumwalt North's Abby Haler, left, and Kate Bixby during the Lady Jays' 64-30 victory.

In a girls basketball game that never was in doubt, Washington dominated Ft. Zumwalt North Tuesday in a home GAC Central contest.

The Lady Jays (10-3, 2-0) jumped to a 22-0 lead in the first six minutes and hammered the visiting Lady Panthers, 64-30.

‘“We came out from the beginning and put pressure on them,” said Washington Head Coach Adam Fischer. “We were able to get some easy baskets by forcing turnovers and converting them into layups or wide open jumpers.”

Ft. Zumwalt North (5-9, 1-2) had a miserable time trying to maneuver through Washington’s full-court pressure defense, particularly early in the game.

“We emphasize defense every day. We feel like if we can get out on people early with our defense, we have enough good free-throw shooters and a good enough offense to withstand anyone else’s run,” Fischer said. “What we preach is passing lanes and help-side. It’s hard on an offense if you defend like that. We have some athletic girls up top and then Rachel (Kackley) and Emma (Boehmer) do a good job keeping the ball from going in the post.”

Kyra Hardesty led four Lady Jays in double figures with 17 points to go with five assists and two steals.

“Our last five games, we’ve averaged about three or four girls in double figures,” Fischer said. “If you do that, teams can’t focus on one person. We’re doing a good job sharing the ball.”

Rachel Kackley finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and six steals.

“Rachel put a lot of time in during the summer and it’s showing. She works hard every day,” Fischer said. “Emma Boehmer and Rachel push each other in practice and they’re both better because of it.”

 Courtney Kedroski collected 12 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Paige Carpenter added 11 points, four rebounds and three assists.

Emma Boehmer had five points and four rebounds.

Megan Freitag netted four points.

Megan Bauche had two points, five steals and two assists.

Also playing were Alex Ready, Katie Trigg and Morgan Buddemeyer.

“We shared the ball extremely well. Rachel and Emma were a force on the inside. All of our guards really passed the ball around until we found the open player,” Fischer said. “When we share the ball the way we did this evening, we are a tough out for anyone.”

The Lady Jays’ depth allowed them to apply pressure defense throughout the contest.

“In these regular season games, I’ll run 11 girls out there and be comfortable with any of them,” Fischer said.

Washington held leads of 24-5 after one quarter, 41-12 at halftime and 54-22 after three quarters. The fourth quarter was played with a running clock.

The Lady Jays are the defending GAC Central champions. In this league, each squad plays the four other teams twice in a home-and-home series.

This season’s race could come down to the Lady Jays and Ft. Zumwalt South (9-7, 2-0), who visits Washington Friday night.

“We’re the defending conference champs. With that usually comes everyone’s best game,” Fischer said. “If we can have a fast start early, like we did tonight, it might make it a little easier for us.”