A game after she scored 21 points in a loss, going over 1,000 for her career in the process, Jasmine Stone led the Evans High School Lady Knights to victory Tuesday night.
In the nightcap of the Evans Bruster Ice Cream Thanksgiving Classic, Stone led the way with 22 points as the Lady Knights fought off the Thomson Lady Bulldogs, winning 59-42.
The senior guard was far from alone, however, as Elyssa Melton worked hard down low to score 13 points while grabbing 14 rebounds and Acacia Blue chipped in 12 points and tied Autumn Johnson for team-high with four assists.
The Lady Knights improved to 2-1 for the year while the Lady Bulldogs lost their second game in as many nights and fell to 2-2.
The scrappy Lady Bulldogs trailed 31-27 with 4:02 left in the third quarter, but the Lady Knights used a 12-2 run to close it out, taking a 43-29 lead into the fourth. The Lady Knights built their lead to as much as 20 and the lead would not be less than 17 the rest of the way.
Melton scored five points during the run, Blue had four and Stone hit a 3-pointer just before time expired.
Evans’ head coach Ryan Morningstar thought the difference was team defense in the second half.
“I challenged the kids at halftime to see who was going to step up the defensive intensity on the floor and I think they all answered that call,” said Morningstar. “The third and fourth quarter we definitely pulled away.”
The Lady Knights did start a little slow and took their first lead of the game at the two-minute mark of the first quarter on a Melton mid-range jumper.
“She’s that X-factor,” said Morningstar of Melton. “When everybody else gets caught out of position, she’s not. If everybody’s tired, she finds another gear and she’s going to hustle.”
A Melton jumper, a Johnson layup and Stone steal converted into a layup opened the second quarter and gave the Lady Knights a 19-11 lead.
“I think we came out over aggressive and then you get in the flow of the game and good things start to happen,” Morningstar said. “We got into our press and got in good position and were able to get some transition buckets and we took advantage of that.”