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GIRLS' BASKETBALL : Jefferson Savors 56-46 Victory


The Jefferson girls' basketball team took a major step toward a trip to the Sports Arena and the City Section 3-A Division title game with a 56-46 victory over Roosevelt on Wednesday.

The Democrats pulled out the victory after the Roughriders rallied from a 46-36 deficit with 4:45 left in the game, closing to 50-46 on a basket by Leona Jacobs with 1:02 to play. But Shonte Tippie and Chaka Smith each made two free throws and Helen Ruano made a short jump shot in the final 46 seconds to seal the win for Jefferson.

Smith finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Kyetra Brown added 14 points and 14 assists for Jefferson, which improved to 18-3. Denise Caudillo scored 18 points and Zenovia Hunt had 10 for Roosevelt. (12-5)

"This was one game I wanted to win more than a championship," said Curtis Hughes, Jefferson's coach. "I think this will send us on our way. We were haunted from last year by Roosevelt."

Jefferson beat Roosevelt twice in conference play last season, but suffered a 53-51 loss to them in the 3-A semifinals, which deprived the Democrats of their first appearance in the City championship.

"We didn't get to go to the Sports Arena, that's why we were so mad," Smith said. "(Wednesday's game) was like a revenge game. We were hyped--the fans, the team and everybody--because we've been waiting for this game for so long."

Smith made consecutive jump shots to spark a 10-0 spurt and a 37-27 lead with 3:34 left in the third quarter. Caudillo and Jacobs combined for Roosevelt's 13 points in the fourth quarter.

"We started getting tired, but we wanted them back bad," Brown said. "We didn't want to lose to Roosevelt."

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