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Jefferson’s Macie Chrisman (35) fires up a jumper against Washington’s Alexa Osafo-Mensah (42) during Saturday’s girls basketball game at Washington. The Cougars’ Jordan Carr (11) is in the background.

With the regular season heading into its final two weeks, Jefferson High School’s girls basketball team has pushed its way to the top of the Eastern Panhandle Athletic Conference standings and is bearing down on securing a top seed in the Class AAAA sectional playoffs.

The Cougars (9-0 this season) picked up a pair of big wins last week, holding on for a 50-46 Senior Night win over Musselman last Thursday, then defeating a much-improved Washington team on Saturday, 49-39.

Jefferson will be wrapping up its schedule over the next two weeks, but following the team’s Saturday win over the Patriots, Cougar coach Damon Smith said there are some things with the team’s performance that he doesn’t like.

Namely, poor shooting from the floor.

“We shot the ball awful on Saturday,” Smith said, noting the Cougars made just 15 of 54 from the floor, a dismal 24 percent.

“That’s terrible,” Smith said.

What concerned the coach the most is it seemed like the team began to do its own thing out on the basketball court during the game. “That’s not what the coaches intended,” he said. “But a win is a win.”

What helped sustain Jefferson’s lead over Washington, which has won just one game this season, a 49-19 win over Berkeley Springs back on March 15, is its foul shooting. The Cougars shot 83 percent from the foul line, making 19 of 23 attempts.  

Jefferson made 16 of 19 from the line in the second half, including a 10 of 12 effort in the fourth quarter. Jordan Carr, who led the Cougars in Saturday’s win with a game-high 21 points, was 6 of 8 from the line in the fourth quarter. Macie Chrisman had nine points for the Cougars.

In the team’s win over Musselman, Catrina Myers had 16 points with three assists, two rebounds and three steals. Carr had 12 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals. Chrisman had seven points, eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks.

While Jefferson continues to enjoy a very successful season, Washington’s players continue to search for that spark that could start to produce more wins.

The Patriots went 0-4 this past week, losing to Hedgesville, Musselman, Spring Mills and Jefferson.

“I told the girls to go back and watch the game film from our first game,” Washington coach Jason Smith said. “This is a completely different team. We’ve gotten better. We just have to get over that hump.”

For the most part, the Patriots kept the game close on Saturday. The Cougars held a 14-10 lead after the first quarter and a 25-15 advantage at the break. Then Washington (1-8) pulled to within six of Jefferson several times in the second half, but no closer.

“It’s just a mental thing, we’re a better team than the way we’re playing right now,” Smith said. “In the second half, we played much better than in the first half. Maybe we just haven’t peaked yet.”

Alexa Osafo-Mensah led Washington with 15 points. Carmen Skinner and Olivia Saunders each had 11.

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