Colo-NESCO girls knock out North Tama, 65-24

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Colo-NESCO defenders Lauryn Hill (4) and Chelsea Henze, left, set a trap on North Tama guard Takoa Kopriva (25) during the Royals’ win of the Redhawks in Colo on Friday night.

COLO — Last time the Colo-NESCO girls basketball team stepped onto the court, it failed to reach the 40-point mark for only the third time this season, albeit in a 39-37 win over Collins-Maxwell on Tuesday night.

The Royals wanted to see a little more offense from their girls on Friday night when they welcomed in Iowa Star Conference South Division opponent North Tama, and fans got that wish as Colo-NESCO handled the Redhawks to the tune of a 65-24 victory.

Royals head coach Wayne Cafferty said what led to the fourth-best scoring night of the season for his girls was their aggressiveness getting the ball into the paint.

“We just played hard, kids did a good job taking the ball to the basket and we knocked down a few threes from kickouts from that, which is good,” Cafferty said. “We had a struggle the other night offensively and tonight the kids came out and responded.”

Junior Faith Vincent was once again the top scorer for Colo-NESCO (11-2, 7-0), knocking down four 3-pointers and scoring 23 total points in a great rebound from only recording five points against Collins-Maxwell.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Colo-NESCO sophomore Emma Stalzer (42) puts sends a shot toward the basket in the first half of the Royals’ big 65-24 win over North Tama on Friday night.

Rylee Purvis also dropped 13 points along with 12 rebounds for a double-double, while Lauryn Hill had seven points, all in the third quarter for the Royals.

Cafferty said Hill has dealt with some discomfort in her hips all season, but this was the first game in a while he felt like she was at her full potential.

“I thought this was Lauren’s best game of the year, she looked a little fresher and she didn’t look to me, even though she took a couple of nasty falls, like her hip was hurting,” Cafferty said. “If we can get her healthy for these next four weeks and continue to improve, that will really help us defensively because her speed causes problems.”

It was the defensive effort that was most impressive for Colo-NESCO on this night, as the Royals managed 11 steals out of the zone press they ran, seven of which were at the hands of Vincent.

“We went to our zone press, one, because of foul trouble, and two, because our sophomore substitutions are young and better off in a zone,” Cafferty said of his defensive decisions. “When we can get our first group in there and our trapping zone, they are really good at that and good at reading passing lanes. The kids really like our trapping defense, so when we say we are going to that their eyes light up a little bit.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

While the Royals were clicking, it was a tough night for North Tama (1-12, 0-7), as they struggled to get into any rhythm thanks to the strong press from Colo-NESCO. Takoa Kopriva and Madeline Espenscheid each scored six points to lead the Redhawks, and head coach Thad Espenscheid said his girls are capable of playing better than they did on Friday in Colo.

“Execution and effort throughout the game is what got us tonight,” Espenscheid said. “They are a good team, but are they 41 points better than us? No. We beat ourselves, and we have to correct that.”

With the win, the Royals essentially have a stranglehold on the Iowa Star South, owning a two-game lead over Collins-Maxwell in second place along with two head-to-head wins over the Spartans. Cafferty said his team can’t get complacent though, as there is still a lot of growth to be had before heading into the postseason.

“We have to get more solid on defense and not give up so many open looks like we did in our man-to-man defense tonight,” Cafferty said. “We weren’t moving early and we gave them some open looks, and we have to get stronger on the boards because too many times we are getting balls ripped away from us or they are getting balls that we should have.”

Up next for the Royals is an away game against Grand View Christian on Tuesday, while North Tama hosts Woodward-Granger on the same night.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

Colo-NESCO 65, North Tama 24

At Colo

NORTH TAMA (1-12, 0-7) — Molly Kvidera 0 0-2 0, Hope Brubaker 2 1-2 5, Olivia Schrier 0 1-4 1, Takoa Kopriva 1 5-6 7, Madeline Espenscheid 3 0-0 6, Katelyn Kucera 0 0-0 0, Alexis Hansen 0 0-0 0, Carissa Calderwood 0 2-2 2, Abby DeBoef 0 0-2 0, Rylee McLean 1 1-2 3, Sabrina Rigel 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 7 10-20 24.

COLO-NESCO (11-2, 7-0) — Faith Vincent 9 1-4 23, Lauryn Hill 3 1-4 7, Chelsea Henze 1 2-2 4, Rylee Purvis 3 6-11 13, Molly Barten 3 0-0 6, Emily Hostetler 2 0-0 5, McKenzie Niemeyer 0 0-0 0, Megan Carlson 2 0-0 5, Emma Stalzer 1 0-0 2, Gracie Kettwig 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 24 10-21 65.

N. TAMA 8 7 4 5 — 24

COLO-NESCO 18 20 23 4 — 65

3-Point Goals–C-N 7 (Vincent 4, Hostetler, Purvis, Carlson). Total Fouls–NT 18, C-N 15. Fouled Out–none.