Saturday, November 19, 2016

NEN Junior High Girls Exceed Expectations for Season, Claim 3rd at Home Tourney

Northeast Nodaway’s junior high girls exceeded all expectations this year after starting off 1-2, with losses to King City and Stanberry to start the year. It took them a while to get going, but all of a sudden, they knocked off Platte Valley, which catapulted them into the next level. Platte Valley was playing without standout Malia Collins, but it was still an impressive win. Northeast then kept right on winning, surviving a brutal first round game with Maysville and then avenging Stanberry and King City as they claimed the tournament title. They then showed that their first win over Platte Valley was no accident as they won again, this time with Collins playing at full strength, downing them 22-11 at the Northeast Nodaway Tournament.

They then played against a highly-touted Maryville squad headed up by Serena Sundell, daughter of the well-known Northwest Missouri State basketball player and attorney. They put up a good fight before they lost, falling 47-33 behind 21 points from Sundell and eight three-pointers from the Spoofhounds, who had a lot more than Sundell on their squad. That put them in a third place battle with Worth County Friday night.

Worth County had opened with a brutal battle with St. Gregory’s and withstood a late charge to win 24-20, giving them a duel with Avenue City. The Tigers and the Aces had played some all-out melees the past two years, with Avenue City taking both battles in close contests. Despite Worth County only having three wins up to that point, this one was no less brutal as the contest resembled a football contest more than a basketball contest. Finally, Avenue City came away with the 25-23 win and Worth County and Northeast Nodaway were paired in the third place contest.

The first game between the two squads was close, with Northeast holding off a frantic rally at the end to win 31-25. But this one was totally different as Anne Schieber started off on fire for Northeast, with Paige West skipping one to her on the weak side to start off the scoring. Schieber fed West on the next play for a pullup, and then West’s steal set up Blair Stoll’s pass to Schieber on the right wing to make it 6-0 just two minutes into the game. West later scored on the baseline after stripping a gold shirt before Jill Hardy got a putback to put Worth County on the board right before the end of the period. Northeast then held off Worth County’s frantic rally attempts the rest of the way to win 34-18.
From there on out until the third quarter, Northeast put on a clinic despite Worth County trying to swarm and press them. Angela Standiford scored off a drive to start the second. Madelynn Mattson, who had been missing early, scored off a drive set up by a pass from Paige West. Blair Stoll scored off another drive, and then Anne Schieber and Cassy Redden then both went coast to coast against Worth County’s press to put their team up 18-4 at the half.

Madelynn Mattson finally got untracked in the third quarter and Northeast continued to pull away until they were up 28-6 at the 2:06 mark of the third.

But all of a sudden, Coach Josh Smith inserted little-used Emilee Brown, who broke the momentum with a putback. All of a sudden, a totally different Worth County team took the floor as Braidy Hunt was all over the floor disrupting Northeast’s offense. She got a steal, and then two free throws from Hardy made it 28-12 after three. Allison Larison added a steal with 5:03 left in the fourth to make it 28-14.

But then, Hunt picked up her fourth foul and came out and then Anne Schieber got a steal and pushed it ahead to Madelynn Mattson to make it 30-14 to break the momentum. Jill Hardy tried to rally the Tigers down the stretch, taking on multiple defenders and getting on the line for two free throws to make it 30-16. Anne Schieber got her 10th point, a career high, off a pass from West as both teams started clearing their benches after that. Anne Briney banked one home from the high post late for Northeast’s exclamation point.

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