Thomas Jefferson hoopsters sweep doubleheader against neighborhood rivals
They are neighboring schools, and just a few miles apart.
Thomas Jefferson's varsity basketball teams took a hiatus from their section schedules last week to host nearby Clairton in varsity doubleheader action.
And the results were positive, at least for the two local squads.
The Lady Jaguars cruised past the Clairton girls' team, 57-26, in the first game; while the Jaguars rolled past the Clairton boys' team, 79-47.
“We've been playing well; we've won eight of our last nine games,” said Dom DeCicco, Thomas Jefferson boys' head coach, afterward.
Both TJ squads jumped out to commanding first-quarter leads, then remained in control the rest of the game.
The Lady Jaguars held a 16-3 first-quarter advantage, and increased it to 34-9 by halftime.
The Jaguars secured a 22-8 lead after eight minutes, and held a 38-28 advantage at halftime.
Joe Carroll propelled the Thomas Jefferson boys' team with a game-high 25 points. The 6-foot-2 guard/forward scored 12 points in the first half, and added 13 more after halftime.
The Jaguars' leading boardman, 6-4 junior forward Chase Winovich, complemented Carroll with an 18-point performance. Winovich netted 12 points in the first half, including Thomas Jefferson's last eight points in the second quarter.
Alexis Yanief, a 5-7 junior guard, paced the Lady Jaguars with 11 points. Yanief collected nine first-half points.
Nine other Thomas Jefferson girls reached the scoring column, including Jesse Hinkle, a 5-7 senior forward who finished with nine points.
Other offensive contributors for the Lady Jaguars consisted of Courtney Zoglmann, a sophomore guard/forward; Alex Hasis, a senior guard/forward; Paige Risley, a sophomore guard; Gracie Duda, a sophomore forward; Haley Kutscher, a junior guard; Mikayla McKay, a freshman guard; Megan Fitzgerald, a freshman guard/forward; and Caroline Willig, a freshman guard.
Yanief, Hinkle provide offensive punch
Thomas Jefferson's girls' team rolled past Waynesburg on the road, 63-35, in a Section 4-AAA matchup last week.
The Lady Jaguars sat on a 30-13 halftime cushion, then outscored the home team by a resounding 25-3 difference in the third quarter.
Yanief and Hinkle set the pace offensively by scoring 18 points apiece, while Hasis chipped in with an 11-point performance.
Thomas Jefferson's boys' team also rallied past Steel Valley, 60-56, in Section 4-AAA action.
“It was a huge win for our kids, especially at (Steel Valley's) place,” DeCicco said. “I thought the difference in the game was our defensive intensity in second half.
“This is a resilient group that is used playing in big games.”
Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.