For the Lady Polar Bears of Jackson, their Federal League title defense started tonight. Though they have loftier goals this year, a priority remains keeping that title in Jackson Township.
It started on the slow side, but the patience paid off for Jackson who managed to force a Green timeout four minutes int the game after opening a 8-0 lead on four great high percentage paint buckets. Olivia Payne finally put the Bulldogs on the board but they couldn’t manage to grab much momentum as the Bears extended the lead to 20-8 after the opening quarter. They did so behind the fundamental footwork of Emma Dretke and the athleticism of Leena Patibandla, who both collected a couple buckets early on.
The Bulldogs didn’t roll over and take it though, they cut the lead to eight right before half. Unfortunately that was in the midst of a Lauren Pallotta seven point run in the 2nd to help the Bears back to a 28-16 halftime lead.
Pallotta started the second half with another bucket, on her way to a game high 16 points. The Bulldogs got good contributions from Olivia Payne and Alyssa Ziehler, who both scored 12 points, but every time they were answered by Jackson on the other end. The length and athleticism of Jackson on the defensive end never allowed Green to get into any type of rhythm or comfort zone.
As Jackson wore on the Bulldogs the lead got extended until the final buzzer where the Polar Bears ended on top 54-35. Emma Dretke finished with 14 points for the Bears. The win moves Jackson to 2-0 as they host Hoover in as big Federal League matchup on Wednesday. The Bulldogs drop to 2-1 and 0-1 in the league.