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Navarro’s career high carries Meskwaki past GMG

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - Meskwaki senior guard Deandra Navarro (2) goes in for a shot over teammate Sophie Balderas (31) and GMG’s Reese Dieleman during Friday’s Iowa Star Conference South Division basketball game in Garwin. Navarro scored a career-high 28 points to lead the Warriors to a 41-36 victory.

GARWIN — The effort and confidence Meskwaki girls’ basketball coach Emmett Whalen has been wanting to see from his team all season long was present Friday night.

The Warriors (3-6, 2-3) packed the paint on defense and fed the ball to senior guard Deandra Navarro often on the offensive side of the floor. The result was a 41-36 win over the GMG Wolverines (2-7, 1-6), buoyed by a career-high 28 points from Navarro. It’s the Warriors’ second-straight victory, something they had been unable to achieve up to this point in the season.

Whalen said the younger players put into the rotation had a big impact.

Freshmen Sophie Balderas, Sia Bear and Kalayna White provided energy and intensity in the second and third quarters, but everything ran through Navarro. She hit five threes — all in the first half — and had 19 of Meskwaki’s 24 first-half points. The defense was also strong, holding GMG to 11 points in the first 16 minutes of action.

Whalen said they focused on stopping Emily Vaughn.

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING

“She’s a real good ballplayer, she ate us up last year,” Whalen said. “We did a good job of making them pass it around and get it to the high post and shoot from the elbow. They made some plays there but I think we did a pretty good job defensively.”

GMG head coach Justin Hornberg was frustrated with the team’s consistent lapses in offensive play during games, particularly against a team he said the Wolverines knew they had a good chance to beat. No GMG player reached double figures, as Jenna Yilek led the team with eight points. Marriah Stonewall scored seven and Vaughn had six.

“We just go on these big long scoring droughts and nothing we seem to do offensively changes it,” Hornberg said. “We tried several different offensive looks and lots of offensive sets, I don’t think our patience was as good as it had been.”

The second half went much better for the Wolverines, out-scoring Meskwaki 25-17 and getting within three points multiple times in the third and fourth quarters. But when it mattered most, GMG wasn’t able to get over the hump — and Navarro was there along with Geanna Bear to help push the Warriors over the line.

The Warriors play Dunkerton Saturday evening at home, while the Wolverines visit Janesville Monday night.

Meskwaki 41, GMG 36

MESKWAKI (3-6, 2-3) — Shye Johnson 0 0-0 0, Deandra Navarro 10 3-5 28, Geanna Bear 0 3-4 3, Genesis Ramirez 1 1-2 4, Summer Youngbear 1 0-0 2, Sia Bear 0 0-0 0, Kalayna White 1 0-0 2, Sophie Balderas 1 0-0 2. TOTALS 14 7-11 41.

GMG (2-7, 1-6) — Jocee Mason 3 0-0 7, Jenna Yilek 3 2-4 8, Angel Schewe 1 1-3 4, Emily Vaughn 3 0-0 6, Marriah Stonewall 2 3-6 7, Kaylea Duden 0 0-0 0, Adelyn Sienknecht 0 0-0 0, Reese Dieleman 2 0-0 4. TOTALS 14 6-13 36.

MESKWAKI 13 11 4 13 — 41

GMG 8 3 14 11 — 36

3-Point Goals–Meskwaki 6 (Navarro 5, Ramirez), GMG 2 (Mason, Schewe). Team Fouls–Meskwak 16, GMG 14. Fouled out–Youngbear.

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