NICHOLASVILLE — A heated cross-town basketball rivalry often means a packed house, raw emotions and a close game.
Friday night's showdown between host West Jessamine and East Jessamine had a standing-room-only crowd, along with lots of energy and enthusiasm.
The only thing missing was a close game.
West emphatically ended a two-year, five-game losing streak to East by routing the Jaguars 98-63. The 35-point margin was the largest in the 15-year history of the series.
"There was a lot of revenge brought out after losing close games to East the last couple years," said West senior Chase Fain, who led the winners with 28 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.
"You just have a fire, wanting to come back and beat them 10 times worse than they beat you."
Daulton Peters, who was an eighth-grader the last time West (led by Jarrod Polson) beat the Jaguars, agreed that it was a fun night.
"Beating East is a good feeling; beating them so badly is really cool, too," said Peters, who had 22 points, five rebounds and four assists.
West Coach Damon Kelley understood his players' satisfaction, and East's disappointment.
"It means a lot to the kids on both sides. There's a lot of pressure and excitement involved, not just at the schools but in the community, too.
"Both teams get fired up, and when you don't win it takes a little longer to bounce back."
The Colts broke out of the gate in full gallop, racing to leads of 17-3 and 24-5. By halftime they were ahead 47-27. East Coach Chris O'Bryan called it a "perfect storm," and his team got blown away like a sloop in a hurricane.
The relatively inexperienced Jaguars came out tentative. They seemed unsure of their assignments on both ends of the court.
"It took us way too long mentally to get into the game," O'Bryan said. "At that point, you've dug yourself in a deep hole against a good team and it's hard to come back."
East senior Timmy Bradshaw tried to spark a rally. He had the Jaguars' first 16 points of the second half and helped close the gap to 14.
But West responded. It used a 13-2 run, capped by back-to-back three-point plays by Will Henderson and Tanner Richards, to re-establish its dominance.
The Colts did just about everything right. They shot 63 percent (38 of 60, including six of 11 on three-pointers), cashed 16 of 19 free throws, had 27 assists, and won the battle of the boards 35-25.
Robby Irgang muscled inside for 16 points and seven rebounds. Richards had 12 points and five assists. And junior point guard Henderson had eight points and eight assists.
"When we play as a team, we're pretty good," Kelley said. "That's the key — keeping everybody focused and moving forward."
Bradshaw's 27 points and 10 rebounds led East. Mike Jones added 11 points.
West Jessamine now leads the rivalry 27-15.
EAST JESSAMINE (12-6) — Bradshaw 27, Jones 11, Smith 8, Carson 9, Lyons 4, Pitney 2, Harper 2.
WEST JESSAMINE (10-4) — Fain 28, Peters 22, Richards 12, Irgang 16, Jackson 7, Henderson 8, Seater 3, Kossick 2.
East Jessamine 9 18 23 13—63
West Jessamine 26 21 25 26—98
Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com