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The Gazette KCRG
Posted February 7, 2014
J-Hawk girls loosen Kennedy’s grip

CEDAR RAPIDS — It was bound to happen sometime.

The Jefferson J-Hawks were simply too good not to beat a top-flight girls’ basketball team at some point.

It happened Friday night.

Avery Guy and Amanda Ollinger scored 15 points apiece, and Cedar Rapids Jefferson led from start to finish in a 59-47 upset win over Class 5A ninth-ranked Cedar Rapids Kennedy in a Mississippi Valley Conference battle at Jefferson High School.

“It’s a great feeling. I couldn’t be more proud of this team,” Guy said after the J-Hawks (9-10 overall, 6-6 MVC) broke a 13-game run of futility against Kennedy. “We finally put four quarters together.”

Friday’s outcome provided a peephole to the future for Jefferson, a team on the rise, a team of the future.

Guy and Kennedy Dighton are freshmen. Ollinger is a sophomore. It’s a team that figures to vault toward the upper crust of the MVC in the very near future.

“We’re going to continue to get better. Our future looks really good, and we’re going to keep working hard for the (regional) tournament this year,” Ollinger said.

Kennedy (14-5, 8-3) dug itself a double-digit hole by missing 15 of its first 17 shots. The Cougars pulled within two points early in the third quarter before Jefferson pulled away again.

“I don’t have a lot of answers,” Kennedy Coach Tony Vis said. “They built themselves a lead, and it went from a point from where they hoped they could beat us to where they knew they could beat us.”

A six-point run put the J-Hawks in command, 32-24, with 5:42 left in the third quarter. Kennedy got no closer than four points again.

Without a doubt, it was the biggest win in the two-year tenure of Jefferson Coach Jason Edwards.

“It’s been a rough week,” Edwards said. “(Ollinger) rolled her wrist, and (Dighton’s) back has been bothering her. They didn’t practice Monday or Tuesday, but the kids kept battling and stayed positive.

“We’ve been close a few times to the top teams. We finally got over the hump tonight.”

Dighton added 12 points, Maddy Blietz tallied 10 for the winners. Ollinger and Dighton pulled down seven rebounds apiece as Jefferson won the board battle, 35-26.

Stephanie Botkin led Kennedy with 16 points. Paige Hendrickson tallied 10.

CEDAR RAPIDS JEFFERSON 59, CEDAR RAPIDS KENNEDY 47

At C.R. Jefferson

C.R. KENNEDY (47): Madi Meier 1-7 0-0 3, Jordan Holmes 0-4 0-0 0, Paige Hendrickson 2-10 6-6 10, Stephanie Botkin 4-10 8-10 16, Morgan Martin 3-8 3-4 9, Carly Langhurst 2-4 0-0 6, Sydney Hayden 1-4 0-0 3, Madi DeLong 0-1 0-0 0, Mariah Vis 0-1 0-0 0, Brinley Milbrath 0-1 0-1 0. Totals 13-50 17-21 47.

C.R. JEFFERSON (59): Maddy Blietz 4-11 0-0 10, Avery Guy 3-5 8-9 15, Kieley Brathwaite 1-2 3-4 5, Kennedy Dighton 6-10 0-0 12, Amanda Ollinger 3-7 8-8 15, Cassandra Veglahn 0-0 0-0 0, Alexis Dahlen-Zack 0-0 0-0 0, Autume Starks 0-0 0-0 0, Erin Kuba 0-1 1-2 1, Sam Kitterman 0-1 1-3 1. Emma Rolwes 0-1 0-0 0, Hannah Carter 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-39 21-26 59.

Halftime: Jefferson 26, Kennedy 22. 3-point goals: Kennedy 4-23 (Meier 1-6, Holmes 0-3, Hendrickson 0-6, Martin 0-1, Langhurst 2-2, Hayden 1-4, Vis 0-1), Jefferson 4-12 (Blietz 2-5, Guy 1-1, Brathwaite 0-1, Dighton 0-3, Ollinger 1-2). Team fouls: Kennedy 21, Jefferson 16. Fouled out: Holmes, Blietz. Rebounds: Kennedy 26 (Martin 9), Jefferson 35 (Dighton, Ollinger, Kitterman 7). Assists: Kennedy 7 (Holmes 2), Jefferson 9 (Guy 4). Steals: Kennedy 14 (Hayden 4), Jefferson 10 (Ollinger 4). Turnovers: Kennedy 17, Jefferson 23.

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