NEWTON — Thirty-two minutes was not enough time to settle Tuesday’s girls non-conference basketball scrap between Perry and host Newton. The outcome required an additional four minutes of play, with the host Cardinals emerging as 79-77 victors after the teams ended regulation knotted at 71-all.
Despite having his team fall to 1-1 on the season, Perry head coach Skylar Wolf beamed with pride over the effort the Jayettes provided.
“I have to say this is the best game I have seen us play in my two seasons,” Wolf said. “The way we fought all the way and the kind of determination we showed was more than I have seen before. It is a good sign for the future.”
Senior guard Molly Lutmer was unstoppable, burying five 3-pointers and sinking 9-of-10 free throws en route to a career-best 38 points, one of the highest single-game totals in Jayette history.
Sophomore Jayna Kenney poured in a career-best 18 points, with freshman Lydia Olejniczak contributing 14 points while senior Hannah Peterson had seven points. Olejniczak sank two triples and Kenney and Peterson one each.
Perry finished 14-of-21 at the foul line and Newton (1-1) 8-of-16 while making three 3-point shots.
The Jayettes trailed, 19-12, after one quarter but rallied in the second frame to enter halftime holding a 31-28 lead. The margin grew to 50-44 after three periods but the Cardinals slowly fought their way back into the game.
Perry led, 71-70, in the waning seconds when Newton went to the foul line with a chance to win the game. The hosts hit 1-of-2 at the stripe and grabbed an offensive rebound, but the put-back shot missed, forcing overtime.
Down by three (78-75) with less than 30 seconds to play, the visitors received two free throws from Lutmer, who was fouled while attacking the basket. Perry was forced to foul, with a single free throw taking the score to 79-77. The Jayettes grabbed the missed second foul shot, but only two seconds remained on the clock, and a desperation three-quarter shot miracle was not in the cards, resulting in the tough-luck loss.
Chassidy Henwood had a team-high 23 points for the hosts, with 18 of those points coming after the intermission. Aurora Nehring added 12 points and Jerrica McGuire and Mackenzie Baker 11 each to lead the hosts.
Perry scored 58 points in a season-opening win Friday before lighting the scoreboard for 77 points Tuesday. After averaging just 29 points per outing last season, Wolf said he was more than pleased with how the team has started the new campaign.
“Our team chemistry is really good,” he said. “We are playing good team basketball and have done a good job of not being rattled. This was really a great effort from us tonight.”
The Jayettes will be joined by the Bluejays for a twin set visit to Greene County Tuesday. They will both be in action Dec. 6 when Carroll visits Perry for the Raccoon River Conference opener for both schools. Both twinbills will start at 6 p.m.