Nothing gets the Jefferson girls team more focused than Friday night home games. Unfortunately for the Lake Braddock Bruins, they were the opponent last night.
Senior point guard Gretchen Heitz scored a game-high 11 points and freshman forward Julia Miller added 10 as the Colonials easily defeated the Bruins, 53-21, in a nondistrict girls basketball game in Alexandria.
Jefferson improved to 3-2, with its losses to 14th-ranked West Springfield this week and 20th-ranked Madison in overtime last week. The Colonials have three returning starters from an 18-7 team last season.
Lake Braddock, which had no returning starters, is 1-4 under new coach Derek Fisher. Fisher took over for Melissa Trowbridge, who retired over the summer after compiling a 228-118 record in 15 seasons at the Burke school.
"We've played some fantastic games at home on Friday night," said Jefferson Coach Gary Young, whose team will play five Friday home games this season. "The girls enjoy the fans."
More than 200 showed up last night in the small gym, and the Colonials got them cheering early with a 17-2 run, including eight points by Miller. Miller made a three-pointer from the right wing with 6 minutes 47 seconds remaining in the second quarter to give the Colonials a substantial advantage.
"It's not like I'm looking for the [scoring] role, but I'm glad to take it," said Miller, who averages 11 points per game. "We have a lot of great seniors and I just try to come in and make things happen."
Heitz then scored seven of Jefferson's next 11 points, giving them a 29-8 lead on her three-point play with 1:54 remaining in the half.
"On Friday night home games, you get the fans and the intensity," said Heitz, who leads the team in scoring at 14.2 points per game. "I knew this year [the Bruins] lost all their starters but with a reputation like Lake Braddock's and with their good coach, we never looked past them."
Lake Braddock had 15 turnovers and trailed 34-8 at halftime. The Bruins were led by sophomore forward Kiera Watkins and sophomore forward Jennifer Saupp, who each scored five points.
"Their defensive pressure took us right out of what we were trying to do," said Fisher, who starts three sophomores. "We backed down from the pressure because we are still learning."
Notes: Colonials junior forward Kelley Washington had nine points, six rebounds and three steals. . . . The Colonials will take a 7:15 flight this morning to play their opener at the Melbourne (Fla.) Central Classic later today.