By BOB ETTINGER
For the Star Beacon
ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP —
With the offense not firing on all cylinders, Jefferson seniors Sarah Busch and LeeAnn Farr stepped to the fore and gave the Falcons the push they needed in a 61-42 road win at Edgewood.
The duo combined for 10 of the Falcons’ first 11 points and tallied 37 between them for the contest.
Busch hit two first-period 3-pointers and netted nine points as the Falcons (9-13) got out to an 18-9 lead through eight minutes.
“Sarah hit a couple of 3s early,” Jefferson coach Rod Holmes said. “When you do that, you up the inside.”
“The thing about me being able to hit 3s is my follow-through,” Busch said. “It’s important (for me to score) because I know I’m one of the better offensive people on the team. Every shot I take is important.”
Part of that early lead was that Jefferson went to the free-throw line for 11 attempts, making six of them. Edgewood did not attempt a single free throw in the period.
“That was important,” Holmes said. “We want to hit our foul shots. That’s something that’s given us trouble all season. We came out a little flat and needed something to pick us up.”
“There’s no doubt it (that fouls hurt us),” Edgewood coach Dave McCoy said.
Jefferson led, 30-17, at the half, but pulled away in the third quarter.
“The third quarter’s been our Achilles’ heel all year long,” McCoy said. “It’s not that we come out poorly, other teams just run it down our throat. We get stops, but we don’t have confidence in our ability to score.
“That’s the bottom line. We don’t have confidence in ourselves. We have to be confident to be able to weather the storm. It’s only a few minutes of spurts. We’re up and down. We’re like a roller coaster. Sometimes, we’re good. Sometimes, we’re not so good.”
“We went back to the full-court (press) a little bit and I think that picked us up,” Holmes said. “That’s not to say it hurt them, but it picked us up. We also got some better looks on offense.”
Farr and Busch each scored eight points in the period as the Falcons led, 49-27, with eight minutes to play.
“LeeAnn hit a couple of nice shots,” Holmes said. “I think she played a little better in the third quarter than she did in the first.”
“I was just trying to go hard all the way through the season and finish strong,” Farr said. “In the first half, my shots weren’t falling. I knew I had to pick it up. I kind of found a rhythm in the third. My teammates got me involved and the ball movement was good.”
Busch’s triple with 2:28 to play in the quarter gave her the season-high in her family, which includes former Jefferson player Callie Busch. Sarah Busch finished the regular season with 46 3-pointers, while Callie’s best output was 45.
“I have the (family) season and single-game record,” Busch said. “I had six in a game against Conneaut last year. (Callie) didn’t play much until she was a senior and I started playing as a sophomore, but she’s happy for me.”
Busch finished with 19 points and Farr added 18 and 11 rebounds.
Taylor Diemer hit a pair of 3-pointers in totaling 14 points to lead the Warriors (3-18). April Lane scored six points and Ronnie Brady had five.
Ettinger is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.