Friday, December 16, 2016

Mustangs Put On Clinic Over Bobcats; Thompson Leads Three in Double Figures for Girls, Coleman Has 19 for Boys

North Nodaway’s Mustangs put on a clinic over East Harrison Thursday night as both teams put them away early and had a fun night of basketball.

North Nodaway Girls 53, East Harrison 23
East Harrison had every reason to expect a better game coming into Thursday’s game. They were packing some scoring punch despite losing to Worth County, and several of their players knew each other; the Bobcats’ Natayla Selby had played traveling ball with Madison Thompson and some other players.

North Nodaway struck first as Alisha Davison got a steal, Madison Thompson got a putback, Davison went coast to coast after a miss, and Kristin Herndon scored in transition as she got a pass from Davison. But then the Bobcats seemingly found their footing as Selby scored four points as they closed to within 11-8 at the 1:15 mark of the first quarter.

But all of a sudden, Kristin Herndon got behind their press for a long pass from Davison twice and Ashley Thompson added a free throw in the final 56 seconds, a sequence that permanently swung the momentum in North Nodaway’s favor despite Sami Jackson wishing it was a 20 point margin instead of just 8. North Nodaway led 16-8 after one quarter of play.

The same thing that happened to the Bobcats against Worth County happened to them against North Nodaway; they could not stop North Nodaway from constantly pushing the ball up the floor. Alisha Davison got a ton of steals and assists for Sami Jackson’s crew; when she was in foul trouble or resting, Audrey Trimble proved to be a capable backup.

Defensively, North Nodaway played 32 minutes of shut-down ball; after Selby’s initial scores, North Nodaway did a much better job of watching her and she never scored another point. And the gaps were not there for Lauryn Waddle to get open looks; Madison Thompson stuffed Waddle once and Selby once. And Bethany Herndon and Ashley Thompson both got a ton of blocks as the Bobcats tried in vain to attack the basket and draw fouls.

The momentum kept swinging in North Nodaway’s favor in the second as they asserted themselves on the offensive boards, getting a ton of extra possessions and drawing Bobcat skipper Bill Pottorff’s ire at both his players and the officials. North Nodaway got some outside looks early in the second as the Bobcats crashed hard on the Thompson girls, sending 2-3 players at them when either one of them caught it in the post. Kristin Herndon got a couple of outside looks and Kelsi Oberhauser got one before Madison Thompson finally got untracked with a couple of free throws late in the first half as Trimble got her the ball down low. Thompson followed up by knocking down a couple of outside looks with a defender draped all over her as Trimble continued to find her, a sequence that pleased even Sami Jackson. North Nodaway led 30-10 at the half.

North Nodaway continued to feed Madison Thompson early in the second as Audrey Trimble and Kelsi Oberhauser each found her once and she cleaned up after a missed layup to make it 36-11. Ashley Thompson took it from there as Keagan O’Riley was getting her the ball late in the frame as North Nodaway raised their lead to 43-15 after three.

North Nodaway continued to outscore East Harrison in the fourth as Kandace Damgar came off the bench and made some hustle plays, knocked down a shot from the right wing, and hit a couple of free throws. Madison Thompson scored off an inside look as Audrey got her the ball again, Alisha Davison got loose in transition, and Ashley Thompson cleaned up after a miss.

Madison Thompson had 16 for North Nodaway. Ashley Thompson had 12, Kristin Herndon had 10. Alisha Davison had 6, Kandace Damgar had 4, Kelsi Oberhauser had 3, and Keagan O’Riley had 2.

North Nodaway Boys 65, East Harrison 24
This one had every expectation of being closer, given that the teams had split both games last year, with North Nodaway losing in Cainsville and turning around and beating the Bobcats in districts at Stanberry. East Harrison, which didn’t have enough players for Worth County the week before, dressed out five for the North Nodaway game.

It started off close, with the game stuck at 2-2 for a long time and both teams walking it up and throwing up a quick shot against the other’s zone. But then Daytona Lutz knocked one down from the right wing off a pass from Dakota Smyser, Cole Bird followed with one of his deadly middle-range jumpers, and Peyton Coleman took on three to convert an off-balance three-point play. Daytona Lutz got behind the Bobcat defense and the Mustangs were off to the races, leading 12-2 after one.

Peyton Coleman was getting a box and one look most of the night, but he still got open to score, knocking down a driving layup and getting loose in transition for a 3-point play in the second frame. In the meantime, everyone else was getting good looks; Arron Coleman scored off a backdoor pass from Peyton, got loose in transition and took a pass from Dakota Smyser, and got a putback. Cole Bird knocked down another medium range jumper, while Smyser scored off a drive and converted a save from Peyton into a layup. North Nodaway led 29-7 at the half. With only five players, East Harrison simply wore down as the game progressed after hanging with North Nodaway to start the game.

Both Coleman and Smyser got the hot hand in the third as everyone else was feeding them the ball and North Nodaway was beating East Harrison up and down the floor. They each scored seven in the first four minutes of the third as the Mustangs jumped out to a 43-19 lead at that point. For North Nodaway, it was much different than last year, when they won 17 games, but all but one of their wins were competitive games.

Cody Wood showed some flashes of what he can become in the third and fourth, putting up 9 points off the bench, driving at will against the exhausted Bobcat defenders. Tyler Bix got some good looks as well, adding 5 more.

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