The Lady Jays competed in the Nashville Shootout over the weekend on Friday, Dec. 15 and Saturday, Dec. 16.
This was the first time in Lady Jays history that they have played a game outside of the state of Missouri.
The Nashville Shootout brings high profile girls basketball teams from around the nation to compete in Tennessee’s Country Music Capital of the World for matchups in the shootout. College coaches and recruiters also attend, making this a huge opportunity for the Lady Jays athletes looking to continue their athletic careers to the next level.
On their first day at the shootout, they played the Rabun Gap Eagles, a private school with basketball recruits from Poland, Spain, Finland, Canada, and Hungary.
In the 2021-2022 season, Rabun took home the Class 4A State Championship in Georgia. Their starting lineups' shortest player is 5-foot-9, and their tallest member is 6-foot-3.
The first half saw Rabun pick up an early lead and maintain it. By the end of the half, the score was 20-27.
“We never backed down,” said head coach Katie Pritchard. “They took an early lead, but we were able to chip away throughout the game. Despite losing in the end, we’re so proud of how competed against these powerhouse basketball schools.”
Though the Lady Jays played hard, Rabun stole the win 48-39.
Abby McBride led the Jays in scoring with 12 points against the Eagles. Peyton Ward, a sophomore, racked up nine points on the night. Lauren Luebbert, a senior, had eight points.
The next day on Saturday, Dec. 16, the Lady Jays took on Blackman, a local Tennessee team. Blackman has two stars, a guard committed to Florida Gulf Coast and a post player committed to Michigan.
“Luebbert shut down their Michigan recruit to two-points,” added Pritchard. “McBride did an excellent job against their guard, who ended up with 14 points but worked for every point she scored. As a team, defensively, I’m beyond proud. We never stopped fighting.”
The Lady Jays lost to Blackman 30-38.
Luebbert and sophomore Quinn Aldridge led the Lady Jays offensively with 10 points each. Ward and McBride both got four points.
Other than hoops, the Ladys Jays basketball team was able to see some sights, including the Country Music Hall of Fame, Broadway Street, and lunch at Blake Shelton’s Ol’ Red Restaurant.
“We tried to let them see the city a little bit,” explained Pritchard. “It was an awesome experience.”
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