Royals score seventh-straight, beat South Hardin
COLO — Heading into its final game before winter break, the Colo-NESCO girls basketball team was looking to add on to its six-game winning streak when it hosted South Hardin on Thursday night, and the Royals were able to do just that with a 63-47 victory.
Colo-NESCO actually got off to a slow start in the game, allowing the Tigers (2-8) to run out to a 6-0 start off a string of turnovers and scores, but the Royals (7-1) kept working on the court and actually turned it around in the fourth quarter by taking an 18-15 lead into the second after a Rylee Purvis 3-pointer at the buzzer, a lead they would never relinquish.
Royals head coach Wayne Cafferty said that ability to shoot from behind the arc really helped his girls get back into the game after a slow start.
“We knocked down a few threes there and I think we had a couple steals in there on our press for layups,” Cafferty said. “We switched somewhere in there we switched to our zone press and got a couple steals off of that, and we were able to chip away. Then it was a slugfest for the rest of the half, but we came out and played really well to start the second half.”
Though they didn’t have the lead after the first quarter, South Hardin head coach Matt Thompson said he was very pleased with how his girls started the game, especially considering in their game against AGWSR last Tuesday they trailed 31-5 after the first.
“I think we came out strong and that was our thing with the girls. It’s hard when you play AGWSR or West Marshall or Roland-Story or Sumner-Fredericksburg,” Thompson said. “We’ve played four ranked teams and it’s so hard to come out mentally against a ranked team when you know you are not as good as them.”
By halftime the Royals had edged out a 32-26 lead, then a big third quarter really opened up the deficit, with Colo-NESCO doubling its lead to 12 points, 48-36.
Senior Molly Barten came alive in the third quarter, scoring six of her 14 points in the frame, and Cafferty said she was able to accomplish that despite some early foul trouble.
“She played with three fouls there, we had to hold her out there a bit, but she did some rebounding and gave us some scoring,” Cafferty said of Barten. “They were packed in there on her a little bit, and then we changed our offensive sets and after we got some baseline threes they had to spread it out a little more, and then we could go inside to her. We didn’t get it in there enough tonight, but when we got it in there she made plays.”
Faith Vincent led the Royals in scoring with a game-high 24 points and she had a double-double with a team-high 10 rebounds. Purvis was next in line, nearly missing a double-double of her own with 15 points and nine boards.
Cafferty said he was happy to see his girls play and close out a win on a team that plays ina hard division than their own.
“We played up a level, you could tell they play in a tougher conference so they are used to playing at a faster pace,” he said. “It took us a while to adjust for it, so it was good for us to play them and have to be tougher on the boards and be more secure with our ball handling.”
Kiera Anderson was the leading Tiger scorer with 15 points, followed by Paige Harrell with 10 and Danae Nelson with nine. Thompson said, though his girls haven’t had a whole lot of success in their first 10 games, they still have a lot to play for when they return from break.
“I think what it will come down to at the end of the season is, AGWSR will probably be No. 1 and it will probably be between Grundy and West Marshall for No. 2, then it’s going to be a dog fight for the next four spots,” Thompson said of how the NICL West Division will shake out.
Colo-NESCO returns from the break with a game against Class 1A No. 10 Dunkerton that will be played in Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Jan. 2.
Colo-NESCO 63, South Hardin 47
SOUTH HARDIN (2-8) — Kiera Anderson 6 2-2 15, Chloe Webb 1 0-2 2, Danae Nelson 3 0-0 9, Paige Harrell 4 2-2 10, Sarah England 1 1-2 3, Ellie Cook 0 0-0 0, Jaelyn Allen 1 2-4 5, Esther Rose 1 0-0 3. TOTALS 17 7-12 47.
COLO-NESCO (7-1) — Faith Vincent 7 5-6 24, Lauryn Hill 2 1-2 5, Chelse Henze 1 2-2 5, Rylee Purvis 5 2-4 15, Molly Barten 5 4-6 14, Emily Hostetler 0 0-0 0, McKenzie Niemeyer 0 0-0 0, Emma Stalzer 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 20 14-20 63.
South Hardin 15 11 10 11 — 47
Colo-NESCO 18 14 16 15 — 63
3-Point Goals–SH 6 (Nelson 3, Anderson, Allen, Rose), CN 9 (Vincent 5, Purvis 3, Henze). Total Fouls–SH 21, CN 16. Fouled Out–Harrell.