LAMPASAS—While Jessica Wunderlich was grabbing everything off the glass but the fingerprints, Cierra Jordan was sitting so much an usher tried to see if she had a ticket. She was on the bench longer than a life-appointed U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
Llano took advantage of one captain’s performance, and CJ, when she finally heard her number called, was her usual self, and the Jackets downed the Lady Badgers 38-28, January 8, to square both teams’ district record at 1-1.
“It was definitely a football match,” said Wunderlich, who recorded a double-double. She picked up a remarkable 13 rebounds and had seven points in the decisive fourth quarter, 11 for the night. “It was very aggressive,” she added.
Head coach Daryl Friedrich decided Jordan had been too aggressive in collecting two fouls with three minutes, 37 seconds left in the first quarter. Cierra could have been watching on TV the rest of the half. “I said if we didn’t give up the lead, I wouldn’t bring her in,” explained Friedrich, whose strategy worked as well as Eisenhower’s on D-Day.
Jordan showed zero effects of her inactivity. She hit a three-point field goal from the right side and soon after drove in with the left hand. The fiver put the Jackets in front 22-16 with 4:23 remaining in the third quarter.
“I was getting mad on the bench,” CJ admitted, but noted, in reference to the coach, “He was helping me. That taught me a lesson. You can’t just go in and foul.”
Claire Williams, who had a superb night—when she’s on, she’s tough—converted a two-plus one for a nine-point advantage. Game over. No, not unless the Lakers are the opponent. The Jackets went colder than Notre Dame.
Lampasas scored the next seven points. Jordan, who had 11 in the second half and a game-high 13, answered—finally—with a free throw. She missed the second, but Wunderlich got the rebound and basket. 5:20 was now left on the clock. Llano’s three points—its first in almost seven minutes—made the tally a still too cozy, 28-23.
Each squad posted a point, and then this:
“…Llano’s got it..that’s Wunderlich again, with about her 12th board…to Cierra…Jordan passes to Wunderlich, right side….Jessica wants to drive! Does! Lays it up and in!!”
“I put my arm around ‘em Monday,” Friedrich advised. He was talking about Wunder and Williams, neither of whom had scored three nights before against Liberty Hill. “We need you, the team needs you,” I told them. “They answered the call.”
It was 31-24. The Badgers hung on and trailed 32-28 with 2:16 hanging on. Then, Cierra found Wunder, and she raced in for a basket. The home crowd thought the Jacket, uh, took a step or two, like she could star on the Travel Channel. The refs said no, and Jessica got the hoop.
Wunder on the crowd reaction: “I enjoyed it; it gets me going.”
Lampasas would not score the final 2:35 of the contest. Lacey Redden was one huge reason, coming up with two steals, and Williams scripted a block on an attempt by Nola Bishop.
“I had four fouls,” Claire related, but, “You just give it your all. That’s what coach Fred wants.” The sophomore had a healthy seven points.
“It was really rough,” Jordan insisted. “We’ll all have bruises. I’m proud of Jessica and Claire; they did an awesome job underneath.”
Friedrich told the radio audience: “Mary Cinek came up big in the first half (subbing for Cierra). She stood up and got after it.
“Everyone contributed. You earn every win in this district. Winning in someone else’s house, that’s big.”