MINERAL RIDGE – Mineral Ridge’s inexperienced rams are getting better every day. Without a senior on the roster, the Rams pushed Jackson-Milton to the limit Thursday night at Weathersfield.
The Blue Jays beat Ridge by 40 points earlier in the season. But, after Tiki Maglis came out and drilled a 3-pointer, the Rams trailed by just 5 points with 2 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
The veteran Jackson-Milton roster, along with a point guard returning from injury, held on for a 46-39 victory.
“I’m excited about the progress we’ve made as a team,” said Rams coach Amy Harrison. “We are super young. They start to read each other. We want to improve with every game. »
The Blue Jays looked like they could run away with the lead, but senior Kylie Wilson, who scored a game-high 15 points, fell hard after winning it hard in the hoop. Wilson had to leave the game early in the second quarter.
“I made the lay-up, but then I fell back” said Wilson. “I tried to save myself with my hand, but my wrist bent back. It still hurts. But, I put it on ice, and I packed it, and I was able to go there. to return to.
The Rams took advantage of Wilson’s departure. Brooklyn Gelardi made a long-range manual pull. Ava Carkido had some big blocked shots. Isabella Carkido had a jump shot and the Jackson-Milton lead was reduced to 21-13 at halftime.
As Wilson was treated on the bench, the Blue Jays turned to Ava Darney to take over. Darney (12 points) delivered a bucket in the paint and out in front of the defense for another score.
“We beat them by 40 last time,” said Darney. “But they didn’t take it to heart. They came back. They came out with a fight. They wanted to win. We were trying new things and they threw a different defense at us. We have things to work on, but I’m happy we were able to get the win.
Olivia Booth (12 points) had a steal, a rebound and a faceoff as the Rams closed in. Rookie Ava Hulett (a team-high 13 points) took down a board and took it coast-to-coast for the score, but the Blue Jays had a few more weapons.
Makayleigh Aliff swept the ball for the Jays. Senior Chelsea Williams (11 points) had a nice catch and she made one from downtown. Carla Blancafort blasted through the defense for a finger roll and Jackson-Milton led 34-23 heading into fourth.
Lilly Merolillo swept one, behind the arc for the Rams, just before Wilson returned for the Jays. Wilson stole the ball, but was back on the floor. This time she got up and completed one and one.
“I knew they needed me to help them” said Wilson. “Ridge was pushing back. I was leading the score. I felt like we needed another top leader on the pitch to finish it off.
Darney had a comeback, and Blancafort netted it, before the Blue Jays (7-5) played away in the dying seconds.
“It was a bit sloppy tonight” said Jackson-Milton coach Pat Keney. “We were lucky to win the game. Mineral Ridge was doing the things they had to do and we weren’t. Ava Darney has done a lot for us. It was good to have Kylie Wilson back for the end of the match because we would have been in trouble.