SIOUX CITY | Jamestown has a pair of small guards who aren’t afraid to play against bigger opponents.
Bryn Woodside is a 5-foot-3 point guard who can take the ball the hole or shoot from beyond the arc. Standing about an inch taller, her senior classmate McKayla Orr is a defensive whiz.
Each of these diminutive athletes helped sixth-ranked Jamestown end a three-game losing streak in the series against Briar Cliff Friday night. Woodside scored 20 points and Orr had a team-high three steals in a 67-54 win at the Briar Cliff Holiday Classic held at the Newman Flanagan Center.
“I guess I’m just competitive and I’ve never really looked at my height as a disadvantage,” said Woodside, who will take a team-best 14.1 scoring average into Saturday's 1 p.m. Holiday Classic game against No. 6 Morningside (13-3).
“Sometimes, it can be a little scary going into a 6-foot girl, but you have to go in there with confidence. I think that comes with time. I probably wouldn’t necessarily have done that four years ago, but it comes with growth along with knowing and reading the defense.”
Woodside had 14 points by halftime, helping Jamestown (15-2) take a 35-23 lead into the locker room. She had four points and a steal in a key three-minute stretch for a team that went on a 10-0 run to snap a 14-14 tie and from there, Briar Cliff (6-10) never regained the lead.
In fact, Coach Mike Power’s Chargers shot 23.1 percent in the third quarter, a frame where at one point, they were held scoreless for nearly six minutes as the Jimmies continued to extend their lead.
“That little No. 3 (Woodside) gave us fits because she’s quick and athletic,” said Power, whose team has dropped four games this month to nationally-ranked opponents.
“When you don’t score like we did, you have to give credit to teams that play good defense. They played good defense, but I also thought we left some opportunities out there. One thing, we didn’t quit, but we were very dysfunctional on offense. We have to understand that running the offense will create offense.”
Taylor Vasa led the Chargers with 13 points, 11 which came in the second half. Logan Ehlers supplied 11 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots while Johanna Vaske added 10 points.
Each team took turns with dominating defense in the first half. Briar Cliff, while rallying from a 10-4 deficit, didn’t allow a field goal for seven minutes, including the final six minutes of the first quarter.
Ehlers, a 6-2 freshman post, had four points and two blocked shots in that stretch. She hit a shot from the right baseline to make it a 14-14 game with 8:51 left until halftime.
Woodside snapped the tie on a layup 40 seconds later, then stole a pass, dishing an assist to Orr to launch Jamestown’s 10-point run. Orr stole an offensive rebound from the Chargers’ Annie Dewberry and it led to a 3-pointer from Paige Emmel for a 24-14 advantage.
“(Orr) is extremely effective on the defensive end,” said Woodside. “On defense, she’s super-quick. She has long arms. She pressures people. She just gets after it.”
Briar Cliff will host No. 23 Mayville State (10-4) at 5:30 p.m. Saturday as the Holiday Classic continues.