Tigers control Norse girls, R-S rebounds with win over C-M
—by Todd Thorson
The R-S girls split their two games last week, losing to rival Gilbert before righting the ship against Colfax-Mingo. It was a contrast of performances, as the Norse played their worst game of the season against the Tigers, but came back with a good effort Friday night by breezing by Colfax-Mingo. Both contests were held in Story City. The Norsemen are now 3-3 on the season.
Gilbert 60, R-S 49
The Tigers (3-2) put together a complete game effort on both ends of the floor to cruise past the Norsemen on Tuesday night (Dec. 9). It was the poorest performance of the season for the Norse in their six outings thus far. Gilbert’s tough defense and balanced scoring proved too much for the Norsemen to overcome.
Three Tigers scored in double figures, as leading scorer Paige Hoiberg (17 points) was joined by Elise Powers (13) and Madison Blum (11). Brittany Hammes and Alexa Whipple led the Norsemen with 12 and 10 points, respectively. Brittany was also 4 of 7 from three point range.
“We came out flat and seemed like we were unprepared,” said Coach Justin Morton. “I need to find a better way of preparing the girls for the game.”
R-S allowed Gilbert to score 27 points in the first quarter alone, as the visting Tigers grabbed a 27-11 lead. From that point on the Norse played pretty even with Gilbert, out-scoring the Tigers 38-33 the remaining three quarters. Unfortunately, the damage had already been done in that first eight minutes of play.
Gilbert shot nearly 49 percent from the field on 23 of 47 shots. R-S was only 17 for 48 for 35 percent.
“We had broken down their offense on game film, but it didn’t translate into the game,” explained Morton. “Forty of their 60 points came in the paint, which is tough for any team to overcome. Also, 26 of their points were off our turnovers. We need to do a better job of defending the paint and not turn the ball over.”
Lexi Crutchfield added nine points, while Alyssa Miller, Jenna Clark and Taylor Olson each posted six points. The Tigers out-rebounded the Norsemen 36-24. Olson led R-S with five grabs. Crutchfield, Hammes and Whipple each hauled down four rebounds. Clark dished off five assists. Hammes swiped three steals.
Coach Morton also praised his leading scorer, who had a great shooting night. “It’s the kind of night I’ve come to expect from Brittany,” he said. “She hasn’t gotten many open looks this season, being the leading three point shooter from our team last season. We’re shooting really well from behind the arc, which has really helped free up Brittany to get more open looks. I hope that continues throughout the season.”
R-S 59, Colfax-Mingo 33
The Norsemen were much better prepared to play Friday night versus Colfax-Mingo in Story City, giving forth a much better effort than they did against Gilbert. They played four complete quarters, and were able to work on a few things that they needed to work on heading into play this week.
The Norse broke open a close game with a 21-8 second quarter edge to lead at halftime 30-15. R-S would slowly pull away from the Tiger Hawks in the second half, leading 44-26 at the end of the third quarer before winning by 16, 59-33.
Lexi Crutchfield had the best game of her career, scoring 16 points to lead the Norsemen. Taylor Olson and Alexa Whipple followed in double figures with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Bridget Concannon added eight points; a career high effort as well. Brittany Hammes posted four points, Jenna Clark had three and Hannah Patton pitched in two points. The Norse shot 26 of 61 for 43 percent. C-M was held to just 12 of 39 for 31 percent.
“Our 1-3-1 defense looked good,” commented Morton. “We still need to work on our man defense and full court press. I was happy that we didn’t play down our opponent much of the game. We did a descent job of competing at a high level. I think there’s still another level we are capable of getting to. We just need to continue to work to get to that next level.”
Olson led the R-S rebounding with eight grabs. Whipple and Hammes each took six off the glass. The Norse out-rebounded the Tiger Hawks 37-30. Clark dished off five assists. Whippled swiped five steals, while Clark took away four. Sara Lahart led Colfax-Mingo (0-6) with 14 points.