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Turnovers thump Lady Blue Devils

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Oliver Springs able to turn 31 turnovers to 39 points

By Chris Cannon

ccannon@lafollettepress.com

Jellico turned the ball over 31 times against Oliver Springs on Tuesday night.

The Lady Bobcats would turn those takeaways into 39 points, as they took the District 4-A win, 67-24.

“You can’t do that,” head coach Nancy Douglas said. “You can’t handle the ball like that. You’ve got to see the whole floor. I’m not going to make any excuses for it. We’ve just got to work harder on changing things.”

The first half was the most devastating, as Oliver Springs was going to the passing lanes.

To senior Destany Creekmore, the words were hard to find.

“I don’t know,” she said. “We go over it in practice, because turnovers kill us. We didn’t shoot well tonight. I really don’t know what to say. It was a rough night.”

During the second quarter, the Lady Blue Devils hit a long skid.

After scoring the first point of the quarter with 7:45 left on the clock, Jellico went on a six-minute scoreless skid.

Through that time, they turned the ball over on 12 consecutive occasions, as Oliver Spring’s Emily Griffith bucketed eight points off of five steals.

“That’s was devastating for us,” Douglas said. “When you have that amount of turnovers, you can’t recover. You can’t recover mentally. On the boards, we didn’t do awful. The turnovers were the downfall for us.”

The Lady Bobcats took an 18-point second half, as they extended their seven-point lead to 22, as they led 36-14 at the half.

“We need to learn to learn to control the ball better,” senior Rachel Ayers said. “We need to work together as a team to get better at it.”

The third quarter was just as devastating for the Blue Devils as the second.

Five turnovers combined with missed opportunities allowed Oliver Springs to go on another run.

Jellico went scoreless for the first four and a half minutes, as the Lady Bobcats went on a run of 15-0.

This loss, especially being a district loss, was hard for the Lady Blue Devils.

“All losses are tough,” Creekmore said. “We’ve lost all of our district games so far, but it was tough. It was a blowout. The score shouldn’t have been like that, but Oliver Springs is a good team. We made them look a lot better than they were.”

However, it wasn’t all Jellico mistakes.

To Oliver Springs head coach, Michelle Christopher, that’s the way her girls should play.

“That’s what we like to do,” she said. “We defend, create intensity and cause turnovers with the speed and the defensive players that we have. It’s what we strive for every game.”

For Douglas, she’s hoping that this game was an eye opener and a learning experience for her squad.

“They’re a real good team,” Douglas said. “I don’t want to take anything away from Oliver Springs. They hustled and went after the ball. Maybe that’s something my girls need to look at and say, ‘Hey, if we want to play ball hard, then we’re going to cut our turnovers down.’”

Griffith finished with a game-high 25 points, as 16 came during the first half for the Lady Bobcats (7-3, 2-0 District 4-A). Alex Giles and Rachel Griffith both added nine for Oliver Springs, as well.

For the Lady Blue Devils (1-7, 0-4), the scoring was slim. Courtney Charles and Ayers led the squad with six each for half of the scoring done by Jellico. Natasha Taylor added four, as Katie Cox and Creekmore both contributed three. Brittany Kennedy chipped in two.