Prep Basketball

Jenna Griffith's clutch 3s lift C.R. Jefferson girls to 57-53 upset win over C.R. Washington

CEDAR RAPIDS — The first one was lucky, the second one pure.

Jenna Griffith made a late 3-pointer off the backboard that tied the game, then an even later one that swished through and gave her Cedar Rapids Jefferson girls’ basketball team a lead and eventual 57-53 win over Cedar Rapids Washington on athletics hall of fame night Friday night on the westside.

The sophomore guard came in averaging 6.8 points a game but finished with a game-high 19 as her club posted its best win of the season. Jefferson is 8-13, Class 5A 13th-ranked Washington 11-8.

“We were really pushing this game, wanting to go out and give it our all,” Griffith said. “Especially with it being hall of fame night, we wanted to show our school pride and show that we were in it to win it. We never gave up.”

Washington scored the final 12 points of the first half to take a 25-22 lead into the break, its chaotic playing style helping it open up a double-digit lead in the third quarter. Jefferson Coach Jason Edwards burned all but one of his timeouts to try and calm his team and the pace down.

The J-Hawks were down eight after three quarters but closed within four early in the fourth. Griffith banked home a trey from out front to tie things, 48-48, with 2:40 left.

With her team down a point, Jeff’s Kaylee Donner dribble penetrated and kicked to the corner to her. Boom, a 53-51 J-Hawks lead with a minute left.

“Donner makes really good decisions, as far as where to get her teammates the ball for them to be successful. And Jenna has made some big shots for us all year,” Edwards said. “That was another one.”

“I’ve struggled with my shot throughout the season, but I’ve gotten confidence as the season has gone on,” said Griffith. “I just knew I needed to get a shot off when I got the ball. It was kind of like ‘I got this. I’m going to make it.’ It felt good.”

It did not feel good for Washington, which was coming off a loss to top-ranked Iowa City High in which the Warriors led at halftime. Sammy Mia, Isa Truemper and Caitlin Riley had 13 points apiece for the Warriors, who lost despite forcing 23 turnovers.

“The one thing I always say is will beats skills all of the time,” Washington Coach Chris James said. “Jefferson had the will.”

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AT C.R. JEFFERSON

C.R. WASHINGTON (53): Sammy Mia 6-12 1-2 13, Jayla Johnson 0-3 0-0 0, Isa Truemper 5-8 0-1 13, Caitlin Riley 5-18 1-2 13, Vanessa Eniola 1-6 3-4 5, Sydney Mitvalsky 2-9 0-0 6, Skyla Atkins 0-1 3-4 3, Brittany Postma 0-1 0-0 0, Sarah Altemeier 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-58 8-13 53.

C.R. JEFFERSON (57): Lindsey Culver 1-3 0-1 2, Emily Kuba 1-5 1-3 4, Erica Oler 4-8 6-8 14, Jenna Griffith 7-11 2-3 19, Kaylee Donner 5-8 2-2 14, Grace Jellison 0-0 0-0 0, Den’edra Hodges 0-1 2-2 2, Arianna Hawkins 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 20-39 13-19 57.

Halftime — Washington 25, Jefferson 22. 3-point goals — Washington 7-23 (Mia 0-1, Johnson 0-1, Truemper 3-6, Riley 2-8, Eniola 0-1, Mitvalsky 2-4, Atkins 0-1, Postma 0-1), Jefferson 6-16 (Culver 0-2, Kuba 1-4, Oler 0-1, Griffith 3-5, Donner 2-4). Rebounds — Washington 27 (Mia 7), Jefferson 37 (Culver 10). Total fouls — Washington 13, Jefferson 9. Fouled out — None. Turnovers — Washington 13, Jefferson 23.

l Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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