By Robert Carter

The North Jefferson News




CLAY — Mortimer Jordan girls basketball coach Marty Caldwell is surely scratching his head.

On Saturday, his Blue Devils knocked off Briarwood Christian, the ninth-ranked team in Class 5A, in a 64-63 overtime thriller in the consolation bracket of the Metro-Jefferson County Girls Basketball Tournament.

Then two days later, the team can’t hit baskets to save their lives, and lost 42-40 to a Homewood team dominated by junior swingman Alexsis Brown and her 26 point, 12 rebound effort.

“We couldn’t shoot,” Caldwell said of the Monday loss. “We had plenty of good looks. I can handle it if we’re shooting bad from outside. But in the paint? No excuse.”

Indeed, many of the Devils’ inside shots went rolling off the side if the rim. Center Peyton Davis struggled, scoring eight points. Forward Brianna Nation fared better with 19.

But the pair did well enough late in the game to cut the 10-point Patriots lead to just one with 14 seconds left, before Saanyol Suswam hit one of two free throws.

But Nation’s driving shot with four seconds to go rolled off the rim.

Haylie McCleney added 10 points for the Devils.

On Saturday, Jordan stayed close to the Lions throughout, coming out of halftime with 3-pointers by Shea Bowman and Ashlee Porter. It was Porter who tied the game at 54-54 with 1:04 left in regulation. But Nation put the Devils up for good in the extra period, and McCleney’s two free throws with 12 seconds left gave her team the needed margin.

Briarwood guard Lauren Parks had given problems all night, until Caldwell made an adjustment.

“We put Porter on (Parks), and that allowed Brianna to sag off and help. (Nation) was getting a little tired,” Caldwell said.

Parks finished with 19 points, including three 3-pointers.

McCleney led Jordan with 17 points. Davis, Nation and Bowman had 12 points each.

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