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Evans’ Jeffcoat reaches milestone in win over Westside

Posted: December 6, 2017 - 1:45am
Lexius Jeffcoat of Evans, who was a standout volleyball player, reached 1,000 points in her basketball career when the Lady Knights beat Westside on Friday.
Lexius Jeffcoat of Evans, who was a standout volleyball player, reached 1,000 points in her basketball career when the Lady Knights beat Westside on Friday.

Lexius Jeffcoat scored her 1,000th point Friday as the Evans girls defeated Westside, 61-32, in a non-region matchup.

Jeffcoat, who scored 19 points in the contest along with snatching four rebounds and stealing the ball three times, entered needing just 17 points to reach the milestone for her high school career. Other key contributors for Evans were Kiyana Nelson, who netted 13 points, three rebounds and one steal, while her counterpart Alex McClain added 12 points, four rebounds, three steals and one block.

With her consistent scoring explosion, Jeffcoat became the second player under the tutelage of coach Ryan Morningstar to score at least 1,000 points.

Jeffcoat said she was pumped after she scored her 1,000th point, but her work is far from finished, as the team's ultimate goal is to win a state championship.

"It feels good," Jeffcoat said. "Not a lot of people break that record. I still want to push further and reach for more."

Jeffcoat said that while she knew she was close to the milestone, she didn't play her game any differently than the previous three wins of the season, nor since she started playing high school basketball.

The game was won from the jump thanks to savviness to execute when defended in a full-court trap, capitalizing off of fast-break opportunities following solid defense, the smooth shooting of the Lady Knight offense and protecting the paint. These fundamentals of winning basketball, of course, led Evans to a wire-to-wire victory.

Morningstar, who is in his seventh-year at Evans as head coach, said it was critical for the entire team to step up, as most teams try to load up on Jeffcoat.

"We knew they would try to take her away, but we have other scorers," Morningstar said. "Kiyana is a great shooter on the outside. We wanted to get the post players involved and get them some touches. Foul trouble hurt us early; we had to pull them out and get a rotation in, but then Kiyana knocked down some shots, and we were able to get everybody else involved and not just focus on one player."

Nelson said she utilized her skillset to keep the defense honest, and in this case, Westside played the box-and-one defense.

"I just feed off her energy," Nelson said. "I just do my part, but we all do our part really."

Scoring in an overabundance of ways fills the seats, but defense wins championships. Evans' Morgan Johnson is the team's defensive anchor on the inside, whether it's blocking or altering shots in the paint.

"My mindset is to keep my hands up on defense and to stay moving side to side," Johnson said.

Her defensive prowess ignited the entire defense, holding every player on Westside under double figures. Westside's Jaiden Hawes was the high scorer with nine points.

 

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