After winning its second-straight district championship, the Jackson girls basketball team’s season came to an end to the hands of Hazelwood Central, 58-47, in the Class 5 Sectional last week.
The Indians and Hawks exchanged leads throughout the entirety of the first quarter despite Jackson getting into early turnover trouble.
This was due to Hazelwood Central’s full-court press as well as the Hawks ability to get in front of passes and steal the ball for scoring opportunity in transition.
Hazelwood senior center Kelsie Williams, who finished with a game-high 24 points, recorded three steals in the first two minutes of the game after Jackson to a 2-0 lead.
However, only one of these steals resulted in points for the Hawks to tie the game at 2-2, but they were able to turn their next two steals for scores.
The first player for Hazelwood to record a steal besides Williams in the first quarter was senior guard Kourtney White. She finished with 13 points.
Junior Mikala Liley ended the Hawks 6-0 run with two just before the six-minute mark to make it 6-4. Liley finished the contest with a team-high 16 points.
Jackson was able to regain the lead with 3:07 remaining in the first, 10-8, after back-to-back defensive rebounds for the Indians resulting in scores.
The Indians shortly after taking the lead extended their 6-0 run to 9-0 as Liley was able to find freshman Madison Lambert from beyond the arc with 2:30 left for a 13-8 lead.
Hazelwood went on a run of its own to follow at 12-0, keeping Jackson scoreless for nearly eight minutes through two quarters for the Hawks to go up 24-15 with 5:47 remaining in the first half.
It was not until the fourth quarter when Jackson was able to regain the lead once more as junior Kalli Mayfield hit a three-pointer to break the 37-37 tie with 7:06 left.
Williams answered with three shots from beyond the arc of her own for a 9-0 run as Hazelwood Central held onto the lead for a 58-47 win.
Liley, Mayfield and senior Grace Pehle were each selected to the all-district team following the season.