Royals squash Raiders, 47-35

Colo-NESCO tops Dunkerton at Wells Fargo

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Colo-NESCO junior Faith Vincent (2) drives down low for a shot while Dunkerton’s McKayla Boeschen contests during the first half of the Royals’ 47-35 win over the Raiders at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Monday.

DES MOINES — There is a long history of great high school basketball games played at the Wells Fargo Arena, particularly during the state tournament in late February and early March, but on Monday basketball fans were treated to a little bit of a preview of the action still to come at The Well.

The Class 1A No. 15 Colo-NESCO and Dunkerton girls basketball teams met up in Des Moines on Monday for a cross-Iowa Star Conference showdown between the leader from the South Division and second-place team from the North Division, and when the dust had settled with was the Royals who reigned supreme, notching a 47-35 victory.

Colo-NESCO junior Faith Vincent, who led all scorers with 23 points, said it was a new experience playing in The Well for the first time, but once she got going she settled in nicely.

“I was a little nervous while we were warming up but I just had to realize that it was just a normal game,” Vincent said. “The rim is the same height, 3-point line is the same distance and it was a normal game.”

Though she claims she had butterflies in her stomach to start, it didn’t show, as she paced the Royals (14-3) with nine points in the opening quarter as her team took an early 11-8 lead over the Raiders (13-3) into the second. That was the closest the game would be until the fourth, when Dunkerton cut a six point Royal lead down to just one on a 7-2 run to start the final frame, forcing Colo-NESCO head coach Wayne Cafferty to take his second timeout of the period.

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON • Colo-NESCO senior Chelsea Henze (20) drives along the baseline while Dunkerton’s Hannah Jacobsen denies her during the second half of the Royals’ win over the Raiders at Wells Fargo Arena on Monday.

“We had to start executing, we were giving our teammates some bad passes and the timeout before that we called the play special and we didn’t even come close to running that,” Cafferty said. “Then we’d go down on defense and we didn’t do what we were supposed to do there either, so we called another timeout to get us refocused and then we came out and that’s when Lauryn (Hill) got two back-to-back drives on breaks and we switched defenses at that point, and that through them off a little bit.”

Hill immediately went on a personal 5-0 run after that timeout, sparking the Royals to finish the game on an 11-0 run, handing Dunkerton its third loss and first in seven games.

Senior Molly Barten, one of only three players who were on the team the last time Colo-NESCO played in the Wells Fargo Arena in 2015, had eight points and eight rebounds for the Royals, while Hill had seven points to finish third on the team.

Sophomore Rylee Purvis only managed two points in the win, largely due to foul trouble, and Cafferty said Hill’s ability to take the ball to the hoop when Purvis was out was a big factor in the win.

“When Rylee went out with four fouls, that hurts our offense. We can sub for her a little bit but she’s one of our attackers and we didn’t have her in there,” he said. “We had to respond to that, and we were able to withstand their run and didn’t give up the lead like we did the last couple of games, and we came out and finished.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

Dunkerton was led by McKayla Boeschen with 14 points, and no other Raider player finished in the double digits.

Cafferty said a lot of that was due to some fantastic defense played by his girls, led by Barten, who locked down the paint with three blocks and multiple defensive rebounds.

“We limited them to one shot,” Cafferty said. “Molly did a really good job of going and getting the rebound, and that’s big for her, especially when we didn’t have Rylee in because Rylee has been rebounding like a banshee, she has been getting after. Molly’s rebounding is what really helped us tonight.”

Not only was this a good win for the Colo-NESCO girls over a talented team who was riding a six-game winning streak, Cafferty said this was valuable experience for his relatively young team to have, in case they find themselves playing in The Well again come next month.

“We told them we wanted them to drive early and get into the flow of the game, get used to the surroundings, and they did a really good job with that,” Cafferty said. “We still have a few threes, and we just had a good team game.”

T-R PHOTO BY THORN COMPTON

The Royals return to Iowa Star South play on Friday when they welcome in GMG for a game that can seal the division title for Colo-NESCO with a win. Tip-off is set for 6:30 p.m. against the Wolverines.

Colo-NESCO 47, Dunkerton 35

At Des Moines

DUNKERTON (13-3) — Mady Howland 2 0-0 4, Carli Teisinger 1 0-0 3, McKayla Boeschen 6 2-4 14, Hannah Jacobsen 1 2-3 4, Kaitlyn Wilder 3 0-0 9, Ellie Magee 0 0-0 0, Ashlynn Shimp 0 0-0 0, Kayla Rathe 0 0-0 0, Bailey Hudson 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 13 5-9 35.

COLO-NESCO (14-3) — Faith Vincent 8 5-6 23, Lauryn Hill 3 1-2 7, Chelsea Henze 1 0-0 3, Rylee Purvis 0 2-2 2, Molly Barten 4 0-0 8, Claire Skinner 0 0-0 0, Mackenna Ruffcorn 0 0-0 0, Emily Hostetler 1 0-0 2, McKenzie Niemeyer 0 0-0 0, Megan Carlson 0 0-0 0, Emma Stalzer 1 0-0 2, Gracie Kettwig 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 18 8-10 47.

Dunkerton 8 6 14 7 — 35

Colo-NESCO 11 13 10 13 — 47

3-Point Goals–Dunkerton 4 (Wilder 3, Teisinger), C-N 3 (Vincent 2, Henze). Total Fouls–Dunkerton 14, C-N 10. Fouled Out–none.