Saturday Senior Night for the Jackson Lady Broncs was an emotional one; more so than it was for the boys. Maybe because, well, they’re girls. But probably more because the Lady Broncs graduated more longsuffering seniors (8 in all) who will never play basketball on the JHHS gym floor again. And these Jackson girls played like they knew it was their swansong.
How fitting to be paired with the Evanston Lady Red Devils—a team as scrappy as Jackson’ ragtag bunch. For all the chants Jackson ballers hear at visiting venues (“Daddy’s Money,” “Trust Funder”), the Lady Broncs give as good as they get.
Jackson is a balanced blend of rodeo girls, multi-sport athletes, and yes, doctor’s daughters. But when they pull on the uniform and take the court, they’re united and they’re salty. Yoked to a career win-loss record like these seniors own will do that. They took to the floor Saturday like a team tired of losing. Ending their basketball career with a win on home court might have erased some of the languishing.
This was not that story.
Evanston 35, Jackson 32
It was a physical basketball game between two bottom-feeders with little to play for as far as conference ranking. Neither team could improve their seeding headed to Regionals this Thursday. And they both played like all that mattered was the other team across from them.
The back-and-forth contest featured plenty of ebb and flow.
Jacie Chatham saved her best game for last. The point guard’s play often does not materialize on the scoresheet. She runs the floor, controls the tempo, handles the ball 100 percent of the trips up the court, and draws the toughest defensive assignment in man defense.
Saturday, Chatham stepped out of her comfort zone to do other things she isn’t typically noted for. She blocked shots, pulled down rebounds, and aggressively gashed her way to the rack when the opening was presented itself. Heck of a game for #31.
And Caroline Fouras, who maybe lived a little in her sister’s shadow for the past couple of seasons, has flourished in Audrey’s injury absence this season. Saturday was her coup d’Caroline game as the senior led the Broncs in scoring with 12. She also had 5 rebounds and went 5-6 from the free throw line.
Rachel Noyce and Anna Revill, who had the thankless tasks of controlling Evanston’s inside game featuring Stacia Barker (6’2”) and Emily Sawyer (6’1”), left it all on the court. Both finished with a hard-earned 5 points each. Noyce had 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Revill pulled down 5 boards with 3 blocks.
Bailey Chamberlain, who epitomizes the broncy spirit of these Jackson girls, was again all over the court. And off the court—sliding, diving, skidding her way across the floor. Chamberlain hit a big 3 when her team needed it most, releasing a thunderous response from the Black Hole. She also finished with 3 rebounds (giving away nearly a foot in size advantage).
Evanston’s Stacia Barker led her team in scoring with 13. Abbie Rigby added 10.
Evanston was able to hang on for the victory, leaving the Jackson Lady Broncs winless in conference (0-9) and 2-16 overall.
It’s been a long, trying season. One that produced exactly eight heroes worth rooting for. Bailey Chamberlain, Taisha Nava, Rachel Noyce, Jacie Chatham, Katlyn Yarrow, Audrey Fouras, Caroline Fouras, and Anna Revill. We are going to miss you ladies. Your effort, your spirit, your game was noticed. And appreciated. You did your community proud.
Best of luck in the post season!