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MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets were paraded to the charity stripe 25 times Wednesday against Lexington and the Jackets hit 20 of those (80 percent) in a 42-32 win over the Minutewomen.
“We have a good free-throw shooting team, as a whole,” Mount Vernon coach Doug Savage said. “We went to four-to-score with maybe five minutes left in the game to try and spread it out because Lexington kept getting packed down further and further and now there’s no driving lanes to go through … and they paraded us to the foul line because of that.”
The Jackets got to the stripe early and often, taking seven free throws in the first quarter with six makes. Layne Lepley had six points in the first and Mount Vernon was ahead of Lexington 10-7 at the end of the first.
Mount Vernon came out on fire in the second quarter. A three by Savvy Blubaugh and a bucket by Lepley had the Jackets ahead 15-7 with 6:24 to go in the period. The home team moved their lead to 20-7 thanks to another three banked in by Blubaugh. Lexington didn’t score until there was 4:25 left in the second quarter, but the visitors went on a bit of a run to head into the half with the score set at 20-13. Avery Coleman had four points in the second quarter to lead Lexington.
The Jackets returned to the floor in the third quarter and almost just as quickly returned to the free-throw line, getting into the bonus late in the third. Six of the team’s eight points in the period came from the stripe and the defense again limited the Minutewomen to six points to go into the fourth up 28-19.
After a solid start to the fourth, the Jackets got stuck offensively and Lexington began clawing back and cut the lead to 6, but more freebies aided Mount Vernon. The Jackets attempted 12 free throws in the fourth, nailing eight of them to rack up 14 total points in the frame and close the door on the 10-point win.
Lepley paced the Jackets with 20 points, including 12 points from the line. She also had seven boards and the team’s only block. Blubaugh joined Lepley in double-figures, notching 10 points, two rebounds and two steals.
“This was Savvy’s best game as a varsity player,” Savage said. “This was her best game I think she’s ever played at the varsity level and it couldn’t happen to a nicer, better girl than Savvy. She’s all in. She cares about her team and she cares about her teammates.”
Bryn Elliott and Macee Marcum each kicked in four points, while Layne Cook and Celina Fritsch had two apiece. Marcum paced the team with 10 boards, while Fritsch added four. McKenna Brokaw hauled in three rebounds.
Lexington came in with two top scorers in Gabby Stover and Coleman. Coleman notched 15 points, five boards and two blocks, while Stover had nine points, four boards, three assists and three steals.
“I thought Savvy Blubaugh did a great job on Stover,” Savage said. “We did a good job of not allowing her to get to the baseline and beat us to the basket. Give Sav a lot of credit.
“Macee Marcum did a great job on Coleman,” Savage continued. “Even though she got 15 points, I thought she had to work for every single one of them.”
Outside of Stover and Coleman, the rest of the Minutewomen were held to eight points. Josie Dahlinghaus had four points, a rebound and a block, while Emma Sturts and Lizzie Hamler each hit a bucket. Sturts paced the visitors with six boards and a steal, while Hamler added four rebounds.
Mount Vernon rose to 2-11 on the year, with a 2-5 mark in the Ohio Cardinal Conference. The Jackets return to action at home Saturday against Logan, with the JV game at 11:30 a.m. and varsity tipping off at 2:30 p.m.
NOTES: The JV Jackets put on a show in their matchup against Lexington. Mount Vernon shutout the visitors in two quarters on the way to a 49-11 victory. Addy Christopher notched 13 points and Briley Daniels had nine points. Eight different Jackets scored in the win.