Jayhawks Advance To Semis

Jayhawks Advance To Semis

Alexis Rodenbaugh accepted the challenge early.

Haley Hettenbaugh seized the challenge late.

And now the Jamestown Community College women's basketball team has the ultimate challenge this weekend.

Rodenbaugh scored 18 of her game-high 20 points in the first half and Hettenbaugh made critical plays in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter to lead the fourth-seeded Jayhawks to a 79-66 victory over No. 6 Mercyhurst North East in a Region 3 Division II quarterfinal basketball game Wednesday afternoon at the Physical Education Complex.

The win sends Jamestown CC (19-9) into the semifinals at 1 p.m. Saturday when they'll take on the top-seeded and unbeaten host, Niagara County CC (29-0).

"We played them tough here (a 65-59 loss)," Jayhawks head coach Travis Wells said. " … I like our matchup with them. If we can just make sure we don't get them in transition off our bad plays, I really like our chances with them."

Wells will certainly take his chances with Rodenbaugh.

The North East, Pennsylvania native tallied 11 of her points during the first quarter yesterday when the hosts scored 24 points in the final seven minutes to build a 24-13 lead. Slashing to the basket, Rodenbaugh imposed her will from the start and even drained a 3-pointer, demonstrating the all-around skills that made her such a valued recruit to Wells and assistant coach Chris Dole two years ago.

"Just getting a player of her caliber is a bonus for us," Wells said. "She's really a great talent and today she was the real Alexis that I wanted to see all year. … We need her to be aggressive and want her to score like that to be the best team we can be. When she wants to, she can do it all."

"I knew that I had to come out and play," Rodenbaugh said.

The catalyst for the Jayhawks' jumping out to an early lead was Olivia Lynn, who dove for a loose ball and passed it out to Rodenbaugh, who scored on a layup for the Jayhawks' first bucket of the game after more than three minutes of play. By the end of the period, Jamestown CC had made 11 of 16 field-goal attempts and held the lead the remainder of the game.

"When our team catches that spark, it's contagious and it shows,"Rodenbaugh said. "Those effort plays and those 50-50 balls that we're hustling to shows on our offensive end. That's when the shots fall and that's when we get the quick passes around and open layups.

"Whenever someone on my team makes a hustle play, I get hyped."

If that's the case, then Rodenbaugh had to be really excited about what Hettenbaugh did in the fourth quarter.

Leading by only seven points, 61-54, the Jayhawks received a huge trey from Taylor Phelps that pushed the lead back to 10 points with 5:40 remaining. Then Hettenbaugh went to work, first with a nifty cross-court pass following a Mercyhurst North East turnover that resulted in a layup by Lynn. When the Saints turned the ball over on their very next possession, Hettenbaugh made them pay, draining a 3-pointer and then, after a third straight Mercyhurst North East miscue, Hettenbaugh made a steal that resulted in Lynn's jumper that extended Jamestown CC's lead to 71-54.

Game, set, match.

"That was huge," Wells said. "We got a lead and just couldn't put them away there. That time it was Haley who answered the bell."

Lynn turned in a special performance, too, scoring 18 points, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing out eight assists; Nicole Johnson added 15 points and seven boards; and Rodenbaugh had eight rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block to go with her 20 points.

The block demonstrated just how athletic she is as she gracefully went airborne and swatted the ball away as a Saints' player appeared on the verge of a layup in the opening minutes of the second quarter. Rodenbaugh's momentum carried her out of bounds along the baseline underneath the basket.

The first person to offer her congratulations?

A player from Mercyhurst North East.

On a day where there was no tomorrow, Rodenbaugh saved one of her best games for her last on the Jayhawks' home court.

"(Athletic director George) Sisson pulled me over (during warmups) and said, 'You've got to play like you're the best player on the court,'" Rodenbaugh said.

She did as she was told.

NOTES: Jamestown CC shot very well from the floor, connecting on 30 of 60 attempts, and collected 23 assists on those 30 made baskets. … Hettenbaugh had 9 points and three assists; and Phelps added 8 points. … All five Mercyhurst North East starters scored in double figures. Nia Phillips had 17 points and 10 rebounds; Cerenity Chambers and Essence Sims both had 13 points; Shaquoia McCray had 12 points and 14 rebounds; and Ivoryana Faulkner had 11 points and eight assists.

MERCYHURST NE (66)

Chambers 5-18 2-2 13, Faulkner 4-9 3-4 11, McCray 5-7 2-3 12, Sims 4-14 2-2 13, Phillips 6-14 3-3 17. Totals 24-62 12-14 66.

JAMESTOWN CC (79)

Hettenbaugh 2-7 3-4 9, Rodenbaugh 8-16 2-4 20, Phelps 2-4 2-2 8, Johnson 7-15 1-2 15, Lynn 8-14 2-2 18, Harrison 0-0 1-2 1, Boardman 0-0 0-0 0, Bennett 0-0 2-2 2, Zenns 3-4 0-2 6. Totals 30-60 13-20 79

Mercyhurst NE 13 18 19 16 — 66

Jamestown CC 24 17 18 29 — 79

3-point goals — Mercyhurst NE 6-20 (Chambers 1-4, Faulkner 0-3, Sims 3-9, Phillips 2-4), Jamestown CC 6-13 (Hettenbaugh 2-6, Rodenbaugh 2-4, Phelps 2-3). Rebounds — Mercyhurst NE 34 (McCray 14), Jamestown CC 33 (Rodenbaugh 8, Lynn 8). Assists — Mercyhurst NE 13 (Faulkner 8), Jamestown CC 23 (Rodenbaugh 6). Steals — Mercyhurst NE 5 (Phillips 3), Jamestown CC 9 (Hettenbaugh 2, Rodenbaugh 2, Zenns 2). Total fouls — Mercyhurst NE 16, Jamestown CC 10. Fouled out — Lynn.

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