Warriors score sloppy win at South Tama
Meskwaki girls improve to 10-3
TAMA — Wins don’t have to be pretty, they just have to count.
Meskwaki girls’ basketball proved this point on Monday night, overcoming a disjointed offensive performance to shut down South Tama County and win 44-13 in the Fight Against Cancer night hosted by the Trojans. The win moves Meskwaki to 10-3 on the season.
After the first quarter, the Warriors led 13-2 — and it was a strong second quarter that put the game out of reach by the halftime break.
Forcing multiple turnovers from the Trojans (1-13) and converting them into easy baskets, it countered the Warriors’ struggles with scoring the ball in the post — something head coach Emmett Whalen said has been a struggle lately for Meskwaki.
However, he was pleased with the team’s ability to break away in the first half thanks to its defensive pressure.
“We kinda just put on the diamond, got some turnovers, got some easy ones,” Whalen said. “It makes life a lot easier when you can get buckets in transition. Sometimes everyone goes cold in half-court sometimes, so to just get some easy buckets makes it easier.”
A 30-5 halftime lead set the tone for the second half, which was much slower in pace and lower in scoring. Wakinyela Bear was carrying the load on offense, scoring 22 of the team’s points and hitting three 3-pointers to go with six shots from inside the arc.
It happened on a night when Geanna Bear, the team’s other offensive leader, had just nine points and ceded the leading role. Sitara Xiavong scored six points.
Having the two options is a big boost, Whalen said.
“Those two I’m not really too worried about,” Whalen said. “We’ve got to get other people going, that’s the biggest thing. We’ve got to get Kalayna [White] and Summer [Youngbear] going.”
South Tama scored three points in the third quarter and five points in the fourth quarter to break double digits, but the slow start put the Trojans in a hole they could not escape from.
Head coach Dina Keahna said the main reason the Trojans failed to get anything going — on offense and defense — was just a lack of execution.
“Just knowing their assignments,” Keahna said. “So just being able to take care of their assignments, some of them just the fundamentals of playing defense and being able to stop the ball and move your feet versus trying to hip check them and those kind of things.
“That makes a big difference.”
The Meskwaki diamond press sped up South Tama’s decision making in the full court and played a part in the team starting the game a little overwhelmed, Keahna said. She added that the Trojans calmed down in the second half and started to get back into the action.
Kailee Meek and Adrianna Cervantes scored five points apiece to lead the way for the Trojans, who made just four shots total and did not hit a 3-pointer. Cervantes struggled with foul trouble in the first half.
Up next for South Tama is a home matchup with Vinton-Shellsburg Tuesday night. Meskwaki hosts Colo-NESCO in Iowa Star Conference South Division action at 6:30 p.m.
Meskwaki 44, South Tama 13
MESKWAKI (10-3) — Shye Johnson 0 0-0 0, Wakinyela Bear 9 1-4 22, Geanna Bear 5 0-2 9, Kalayna White 0 0-4 0, Summer Youngbear 0 2-4 2, Sia Bear 2 1-4 5, Irene Keahna 0 0-0 0, Sitara Xiavong 0 0-0 0, Aerial Albert 0 0-0 0, Sophie Balderas 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 17 4-18 44.
SOUTH TAMA (1-13) — Kailee Meek 2 1-1 5, Adriana Cervantes 1 3-7 5, Kayla Heck 0 0-0 0, Lauren Veit 0 1-2 1, Emma Harwick 0 0-0 0, Bre Riha 0 0-0 0, Neena Lasley 0 0-0 0, Takia Rosenberger 0 0-0 0, Janette Cervantes 0 0-0 0, Sophia Shuckahosee 0 0-2 0, Arro Lyons 1 0-2 2. TOTALS 4 5-14 13.
MESKWAKI 13 17 11 3 — 44
SOUTH TAMA 2 3 3 5 — 13
3-Point Goals–Meskwaki 6 (W.Bear 3, Xiavong 2, G.Bear). Team Fouls–Meskwaki 15, STC 12. Fouled Out–none.