TJ girls run away with win

The Jefferson girls basketball team was on winter break from school, but didn’t mail in their performance with a 72-58 win over Mount Rainier Friday.

Jefferson led by at least 10 points throughout the second half as it held on for the non-league win. Michelle Morse led the Raiders with 21 points and five steals, despite not playing for a week.

“It was a vacation-type of game, a conditioning game,” said Jefferson coach Mike Grady. “Everybody played in the first quarter. We were trying to keep things up tempo.”

Grady said Amanda Foster, Ashley Osman and Kezia Long all played well. Foster scored five points, grabbed three rebounds and blocked three shots. Osman had four points, a blocked shot and a rebound. Long had five rebounds.

“In a lot of cases, they don’t get long minutes,” Grady said. “Getting our taller girls more minutes will help us in the long run.”

Jefferson also used quick defense to pressure Mount Rainier. The Raiders forced 21 turnovers and made 12 steals.

Jessiye Clark scored 16 points, including three 3-pointers. Mitzi Moore scored nine points and Shannon Morse scored seven. As a team, Jefferson hit 26 of 59 shots from the field.

The Raiders are getting back on track for the second half of the season after derailing with two losses before winter break.

“After losing the Rogers game, then the next game we lost to Bethel, that one kind of hurt,” Grady said. “It was an eye-opener. We’re good, but we still have to work. Defense will win titles, and that’s where we want to be. That’s a refocus point for our team.”

Jefferson gets back to league action when it plays Decatur at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Jefferson.

“We’re definitely looking forward to the Decatur game,” Grady said. “We’re excited about it, and I’m sure they are, too.”

The game should be a high-scoring affair. Both teams are top-scoring teams in the South Puget Sound League. Jefferson ranks first in the league in team scoring, averaging 63 points per game. Decatur ranks third in the SPSL in team scoring, averaging 57.3 points per game. The gam also will feature two of the top three scorers in the SPSL. Jefferson’s Morse leads the league in scoring through eight games with an average of 22 points per game. Decatur senior Dekeidra Brewer is the SPSL’s third leading scorer, averaging 15.4 points per game.

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