Blue Jay guard Carolyn Mueller looks up court for help as she is flanked by Jefferson’s Rylynn Marquiss, left, and Lyv Lindeman in their matchup Friday. DHI Media/Jim Metcalfe)
Blue Jay guard Carolyn Mueller looks up court for help as she is flanked by Jefferson’s Rylynn Marquiss, left, and Lyv Lindeman in their matchup Friday. DHI Media/Jim Metcalfe)

DELPHOS - Coming off a 22-win season with a veteran core returning, the Jefferson girls basketball team looked in mid-season form in blowing out St. John’s 65-29 Friday night at Robert A. Arnzen Gymnasium.

With seven returning letter winners back, two veterans were an outstanding 1-2 punch for the Lady Wildcats: juniors Lyv Lindeman (22 points, 5 assists, 4 steals) and 6-3 center Lauren French (17 points, 9 rebounds, 4 blocks).

“Lauren has improved immensely over the summer; she works so hard every day and is so coachable,” Jefferson head coach Denise Lindeman said. “We focused so much on shooting in the off-season. That has been a focus for us; we spend at least 20 minutes more of practice on shooting and these girls stay after practice 20 minutes or more working on it “

This night, Jefferson canned 26-of-51 shots, including a stellar 13 out of 22 3-pointers, for 51 percent.

“We had issues defending those two,” Lady Blue Jay head coach Nate Stant said. “We let Lauren get away from us only a couple of times in our zone but even then, we couldn’t keep getting them off the offensive boards. Their shooting was tremendous.”

Especially the first period when the Wildcats counted 10 out of 15 shots. With French putting up 13 points and Lindeman 11, they grabbed the lead for good 6-3 on a hoop-and-harm by French and by the end of the stanza it was 25-13 on a French basket with 7.0 ticks left.

The torrid shooting continued in the second canto as the visitors dropped in 6-of-11 triples. Meantime, their pressure defense forced seven miscues and limited the Jay’s to 1-of-9 shooting in securing a 50-17 halftime advantage on a 3ball by Hannah Wiltsie.

When Jefferson’s lead reached 57-21 on a Lindeman deuce in the third period, the running clock began and went the remainder of the contest. It stood at 65-23 at the end of three on a triple by Aubrey Dudgeon with 25 seconds showing.

With that running clock, Jefferson was scoreless in the finale.

“Last year was last year; this season is entirely new,” Lindeman added. “We have to rebuild our chemistry but these girls get along so well. We need to get our defense stronger because that is what we build our program on “

The Wildcats went 3-of-5 on free throws (60%), dominated the glass 34-16 (10-5 offensive) and turned it over 11 times. Their scheduled game with New Bremen Tuesday was postponed to Dec. 10. They visit Antwerp Nov. 29.

St. John’s put in 9-of-33 shots (5-of-17 triples) for 27.3 percent and 6-of-12 freebies for 50 percent. Abby Kerner was the top scorer with nine markers. Leading the board work was Emma Will with nine. They committed 16 errors.

“We have a lot of varsity newcomers, especially handling the ball,” Stant added. “We had moments of handling the ball but we need to do it for 32 minutes. Rebounding will have to be a team focus for 32 minutes because we simply don’t have the overall size.”

There was no junior varsity game.