It was a night to remember, just not on the scoreboard for Perry girls’ basketball team on Friday night.
The final score wasn’t a cause for celebration for the Jayettes (1-17, 0-11), who saw the visiting Ballard Bombers (16-2, 10-1) outscore them 52-19 in a Raccoon River Conference matchup.
Despite losing their 14th game in a row, the Feb. 1 contest wasn’t just about attempting to earn a win, but to recognize those who’ve battled cancer and lived to tell about it.
“We honor cancer survivors,” head coach Skylar Wolf said. “We wear pink as a unified effort to fight cancer. Coaches participate in the ‘suits and sneaker’ awareness program. The kids always have fun with unique nights and it’s always fun for a great cause!”
The “Coaches vs. Cancer,” event raised money for the Dallas County Relay for Life. The high school sold shirts and allowed teachers to pay to wear jeans on Thursday. During the game, PHS cheerleaders and other volunteers helped collect donations as part of the 48-second bucket drill.
“I am always happy to be a part of it,” Wolf said.
Relay for Life Co-Chair Gary Iles said the Relay group has probably organized this event for around 9-10 years.
Iles, along with fellow co-chair, Tracy Iles, used this platform as another way to get the word out about the fight against cancer.
“I think it went well,” he said. “We don’t have a total yet. We have to wait for the school to add up what they had also raised.”
As for the game, the coaching staff assumed that this might’ve been a tough matchup for the Jayettes against a solid Bombers team.
“We knew Ballard was a very good ranked opponent and it was going to be tough,” Wolf said.
Wolf and his staff’s assumptions were right, with the Bombers putting some distance between them and the host in the second quarter, 24-9, after the game was close after one at 12-6.
“The last time we played them we didn’t have Molly [Lumtmer] and she really helped our confidence in the first quarter start,” he said. “We were able to hang with them in the first a little but then Ballard added more pressure and got some easy layups in the second quarter.”
Lutmer’s presence was felt as she led the squad with 12 points. Her points were just one shy of the Jayettes’ Jan. 4, 66-13 game versus Ballard.
Two other players were responsible for the team’s total score. Senior Gabby West scored five, while sophomore Quinn Whiton contributed two.
“I was impressed with Gabby and her leadership the past couple of games,” Wolf said. “We’ve had some key bench players give us some good minutes with Jayna [Kenny] being absent.”
The loss, coupled with the Thursday, Jan. 31 loss to the Carroll Tigers (10-6, 5-5), keeps the Jayettes searching for their first RRC win.
Against the Tigers, the host Jayettes strung together some solid three quarters that included a 12-10 second after getting down by seven in the first, 14-7.
It was the third quarter that halted any chance of a win when the visiting team outscored the home team 15-4. It was a closer fourth, 15-10 Tigers.
Wolf continued to stay positive and has no doubt that his team can still garner that first conference win, especially with how competitive they’ve been in their past games.
“Against Bondurant, we played the best three quarters we have since the first three games of the season against a much improved Bondurant team,” he said. “When we traveled to ADM we played a really good first quarter and kept it tight against one of the top teams in our conference. I think we are right where we want to be to finish the year and head into regionals.”
The elusive first RRC victory might come this coming Tuesday, Feb. 5 when the Jayettes welcome in the Boone Toreadors.