DELAWARE – Delaware Hayes girls basketball coach Lou Tiberi has said on a number of occasions this season he likes bringing freshman Chloe Jeffers off the bench because she has a calming influence on the team.
Jeffers proved that to be true Friday night. Jeffers helped the host Pacers bridge the break with a 21-0 run on their way to a 56-44 win over rival Buckeye Valley in non-league action.
“She plays with a composure that we’ve been lacking and even lacked a little bit tonight,” Tiberi said. “I feel very comfortable bringing her off the bench because I know if somebody’s struggling – she’s going to be able to plug the hole with some very quality minutes.”
Down 12 points, the Pacers scored the final 16 points of the first half – with 14 coming from Jeffers.
She knocked down a three-pointer, converted an and-one and knocked down a second triple to cut the Pacers’ deficit to one.
She pulled down a pair of offensive boards on the next possession, putting the second one in to give Hayes its first lead at 24-23 with 35 seconds left before the break. She finished off the fury with a third trey to give the Pacers a four-point lead at the break.
“I realized we needed the energy and I needed to bring it somehow,” she said. “I just locked in and my teammates found me … and the ball went in. I wasn’t really thinking too much – I just kind of went with it.”
All told, Jeffers finished with 16 points and seven boards to lead Hayes.
“We can always count on her,” Tiberi said. “She’s not going to make any mistakes, she makes shots when she’s open and she plays above her years.”
The Pacers notched their first win over their rivals since Nov. 23, 2013. BV won the following two meetings. But the two haven’t played since the 2015-16 season.
Alyssa Griner, who started the Pacers’ big rally, opened the second half with a putback and Katie Smith knocked down a three-pointer from the top of the key off a Jordan Lantz feed to cap the run.
Lantz had a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds, Griner finished with 10 points and Piper Adkins added eight points, six assists and three steals for the Pacers (5-5), who are undefeated outside of league play.
BV coach Mike Daniels said before the game he didn’t like playing on nights when his team is off from school. Maybe he was right, maybe it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy or maybe it’s both.
“Christmas vacation happened,” he said afterward. “It happens with every team I have in every season. It’s tough for the girls to be off and out of their routine. We got out-worked. It’s the first time that this has happened all year.”
The Barons started strong, getting five quick points from Chelsea Edington to open 7-0.
Hannah Cowan had five points, Dani Grether added a pair of free throws before finding Cami Crawford for a basket underneath to push BV’s lead to 18-6 early in the second quarter.
Crawford added a putback to maintain a 12-point advantage on BV’s next possession. Crawford finished with six points and five rebounds off the bench.
Cowan finished with 15 points, five boards and three assists; Grether added 10 points and eight rebounds and Paige Garrett pulled down six rebounds off the bench to lead the Barons (5-4).
BV is right back at it tonight, traveling to Fairfield Union in non-league action. Tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. Hayes is off until the new year – hosting Hilliard Bradley Friday at 7:30 p.m. in OCC-Cardinal action.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.