BY JIMMY HARRIS
---- — DANVILLE — Kelsey Ratliff, Shelby Haggard, and Caelan Jones came off the bench to help the Danville Area Community College Lady Jaguars get a 75-65 victory over the Lincoln Trail Lady Statesmen at the Mary Miller Gymnasium.
DACC's bench outscored Lincoln Trail 38-23, and the pressure defense of the Lady Jaguars forced 27 turnovers.
“I thought the team played hard and we came out aggressive,'' said Kelsie Ratliff. "I try to be a spark when I come off the bench.”
The Lady Jaguars converted the 27 turnovers by the Lady Statesmen into 18 points.
DACC came out fired up and very aggressive tonight to start the game and the pressure and quickness bothered Lincoln Trail as the Lady Jaguars grabbed a double-digit lead. As the game progressed the teams exchanged baskets but with 10 minutes left in the first half the Lady Statesmen had cut the lead to 6 points.
Over the next 8 minutes the Lady Statesmen couldn't find the basket because of the pressure defense of the Lady Jaguars and quality bench play to build a 20-point lead. DACC continued its fine play on the offensive and defensive side of the ball to lead 44-24 at halftime.
“I thought the team came out with a good intensity that they haven't shown before and that helped us to the big first half lead,'' DACC coach Kyle Bent said.
Ratliff came off the bench to lead the Lady Jaguars with 15 points.
“The bench is all freshmdn so the more time I get to play them the better we will become as a team,” Bent said.
Shelby Haggard also had a fine game off the bench and ended with 13 points.
“The team came out aggressive and that helped and I am always trying to motivate and be positive with all my teammates,” Haggard said.
DACC also got quality minutes from Jones, who led the team with six assists off the bench, while another key contributor was starting center Brianna Jones, who had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
“The team is playing better and improving, but there are still some things we need to work on,'' Bent said.
The game was never really in doubt for DACC as Lincoln Trail never got closer than 10 points late in the second half.
The Lady Jaguars improved to 7-3 with the victory and DACC is at home again on Dec. 14th with a 2 p.m. game against Kaskaskia.
Last Saturday, DACC suffered a 68-56 loss to Olney. Kayton Cole had a team-high 15 points for the Lady Jaguars in that contest.