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Cubs play tough, but fall short against No. 4 Ballard

Nevada’s Jessica Helton lofts a shot toward the hoop in front of South Hamilton’s Allyson Ervin during the first half of the Cubs’ 38-23 Heart of Iowa Conference victory over the Hawks Jan. 14 at the Nevada High School Field House. Photo by Joe Randleman
Nevada’s Jessica Helton lofts a shot toward the hoop in front of South Hamilton’s Allyson Ervin during the first half of the Cubs’ 38-23 Heart of Iowa Conference victory over the Hawks Jan. 14 at the Nevada High School Field House. Photo by Joe Randleman
Nevada’s Abby Stephenson hustles to maintain possession of the ball during the Cubs’ victory over South Hamilton Jan.14. Photo by Joe Randleman
Nevada’s Abby Stephenson hustles to maintain possession of the ball during the Cubs’ victory over South Hamilton Jan.14. Photo by Joe Randleman

HUXLEY – The Nevada girls’ basketball team may not have been able to duplicate last year’s historic victory over Ballard when the two teams got together Monday in Huxley, but the Cub girls still saw plenty of good things in defeat.

Ballard – the No. 4 team in Class 4A – handed a Cub team ranked No. 5 in 3A a 48-37 loss Monday.

Nevada had picked up its first victory in 39 5-on-5 games against Ballard last year. On Monday the Cubs struggled defensively in the first quarter, but over the next two periods combined they outplayed the Bombers.

Ballard saw a double-digit lead shrink down to three points by the end of the third quarter.

But in the fourth quarter Nevada ran out of gas. Ballard also made its free throws down the stretch to earn the double-digit victory.

“Ballard is a solid team and how active they were on defense really impressed me,” Nevada head coach Kristin Meyer said. “Their defensive pressure led to a number of turnovers for us.”

Ballard forced 18 Nevada turnovers. The Bombers only finished with nine miscues.

Nevada held Ballard to 37-percent shooting. But the Cubs also shot just 37 percent and they were only 4 of 19 from 3-point range.

Nevada was also only 5 of 12 from the line, compared to Ballard’s 17 of 24 showing from the charity stripe.

“Even though we didn’t come away with the win, this was a great game to help prepare us for regional play,” Meyer said. “I was proud of our girls for fighting back a few different occasions after getting down by double digits.”

Kati Cassabaum and Megan Pringnitz provided most of the spark for Nevada on offense.

Cassabaum had 14 points on 6 of 10 shooting from the field and she dished out three assists. Cassabaum also anchored the Cubs defensively, finishing with seven rebounds, four blocks and four steals.

Pringnitz keyed Nevada’s comeback run in the third quarter. She scored 12 points after hitting 4 of 10 3-pointers and added five rebounds, two blocks and two assists.

“Kati did a nice job of working for position in the low post and she finished strong, even through contact,” Meyer said. “Megan’s 3-pointers in the third quarter were clutch in our run to pull within three points.”

Freshmen Claire Ausman and Abby Stephenson scored five and four points respectively for Nevada. Jessica Helton added two points, four rebounds, three assists and one steal and Alli Fey chipped in four rebounds, two assists and one steal for the Cubs, who fell to 10-3.

Ballard improved to 13-2. Gabie Doud had 20 points, eight rebounds and three steals and Emily Knittel tallied 12 points, five rebounds and three steals for the Bombers.

Ballard 48, Nevada 37

N 11 6 12 8 – 37

B 18 7 7 16 – 48

Nevada (37) – Claire Ausman 2-5 1-5 5, Abby Stephenson 2-2 0-0 4, Megan Pringnitz 4-10 0-0 12, Emma Lodestein 0-0 0-0 0, Alli Fey 0-3 0-0 0, Jessica Helton 0-8 2-2 2, Kati Cassabaum 6-10 2-5 14. Totals: 14-38 5-12 37. 3-point field goals (4): Pringnitz 4. Rebounds (22): Cassabaum 7. Assists (11): Helton 3, Cassabaum 3. Steals (6): Cassabaum 4. Blocks (6): Cassabaum 4.

Ballard (48) – Charcey Petersen 0-0 0-0 0, Meredith Ossian 1-6 0-2 2, Abby McGee 1-1 1-2 3, Taylor Larson 1-1 0-0 3, Gabie Doud 7-13 6-6 20, Emily Knittel 2-7 8-10 12, Jenna Moody 1-4 0-0 3, Kenzie Ihle 1-2 0-0 3, Alanna Dubberke 0-1 2-4 2, Sheridan Gealow 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 14-37 17-24 48. 3-point field goals (3): Larson, Moody, Ihle. Rebounds (23): Doud 8. Assists (6): Ihle 2. Steals (14): McGee 3, Doud 3, Knittel 3. Blocks (3): Dubberke 3.

NEVADA – Nevada made sure its Heart of Iowa Conference game with Colfax-Mingo was over almost as quickly as it started Friday in Nevada.

The Cubs scored more points in the first quarter than the Tigerhawks did the entire game on their way to a 64-14 rout.

Nevada led a winless Colfax-Mingo team by 16 points after one quarter and by halftime, the Cubs were holding an insurmountable 44-7 advantage on their way to improving to 10-1 in the HOIC.

Nevada held Colfax-Mingo to just six field goals and an abysmal 15-percent shooting night. The Cubs also had 16 steals and they outrebounded the Tigerhawks, 40-26.

Kati Cassabaum had 18 points, 12 rebounds, four blocks, three steals and two assists for Nevada in the win.

Claire Ausman, Alli Fey and Jessica Helton each netted 11 points apiece for Nevada. Megan Pringnitz had six points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks and Christine Ausman also put up six points.

McKenzie Cogley finished with eight points and two blocks and Jade Lewis snared eight rebounds for Colfax-Mingo.

Nevada 64, Colfax-Mingo 14

C-M 4 3 5 2 – 14

N 20 24 13 7 – 64

Colfax-Mingo (14) – Alivia Haley 0-3 0-0 0, Jena Teed 0-4 0-2 0, Jessica Albright 1-4 0-0 2, Ivy Moore 0-2 0-0 0, McKenzie Cogley 3-10 2-4 8, Jade Lewis 0-3 0-0 0, Breawna Schroeder 0-6 0-0 0, McKinzie Tjaden 0-1 0-0 0, Amy Russell 1-2 0-0 2, Dakota Hostettler 0-2 0-0 0, Kayla VanDusseldorp 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 6-39 2-6 14. 3-point field goals: None. Rebounds (26): Lewis 8. Assists (4): Teed, Moore, Lewis, Russell. Steals (2): Haley, Cogley. Blocks (4): Cogley 2.

Nevada (64) – Claire Ausman 4-8 2-4 11, Abby Stephenson 0-1 1-3 1, Megan Pringnitz 2-3 0-0 6, Emma Lodestein 0-2 0-0 0, Alli Fey 5-9 0-0 11, Megan Anderson 0-0 0-0 0, Jessica Helton 5-16 1-4 11, Kati Cassabaum 8-13 2-3 18, Amaris Hornbuckle 0-3 0-0 0, Christine Ausman 3-4 0-0 6. Totals: 27-59 6-15 64. 3-point field goals (4): Pringnitz 2, Cl. Ausman, Fey. Rebounds (40): Cassabaum 12. Assists (18): Pringnitz 4, Lodestein 4. Steals (16): Lodestein 3, Fey 3, Cassabaum 3. Blocks (9): Cassabaum 4.

NEVADA – After winning a hard-fought game over Prairie City-Monroe the night before, the Nevada girls’ basketball team was out of sync when it took on South Hamilton Jan. 14 at the Nevada High School Field House.

The Cubs struggled offensively for all but one stretch in the second quarter. But thanks to a dominant defense, they still defeated a one-win Hawk team by a comfortable margin, prevailing by a 38-23 score.

“Last night’s game took a lot out of us physically, mentally and emotionally, and we kind of played that way tonight,” Nevada head coach Kristin Meyer said. “But I’ve got to give South Hamilton a lot of credit. They came out, played hard and attacked well. They’ve definitely improved a lot.”

Nevada used a 10-0 run in the second quarter to take control of the game.

Kati Cassabaum scored the first basket off a feed from Alli Fey and then Megan Pringnitz and Jessica Helton hit consecutive 3-pointers. Helton ended the run by going coast to coast for a basket after a steal, giving Nevada a 21-6 lead.

South Hamilton closed back within 21-11 and then hung around the rest of the half as Nevada took a 25-13 lead into the locker room.

In the third quarter Cassabaum netted five straight points to push Nevada’s lead to 15. Helton then followed with back-to-back hoops to give the Cubs their biggest lead at 36-17.

In the fourth quarter Nevada went ice cold offensively. The Cubs failed to score a point the entire period.

“We can play a lot better than we did,” Helton said. “Our shots just weren’t falling for us.”

But thanks to a solid defensive effort over the final eight minutes, Nevada’s big scoring drought never became an issue.

“We’ll take it,” Helton said. “But I think it’s good that we have two practices now. I think we need some practice before our next game.”

Nevada only shot 28 percent from the field and South Hamilton posted a 37-32 rebounding advantage. But the Cubs held the Hawks to 25-percent shooting, and they came away with 19 steals and eight blocks defensively.

Helton led Nevada with 13 points and she also had seven steals and five rebounds. Cassabaum ended up with nine points, seven rebounds, four blocks and three steals and Pringnitz scored seven points.

Kayla Lucas had eight points and five steals and Kaitlin Fisher finished with six points, 10 rebounds and three steals for South Hamilton in a losing effort.

Nevada 38, South Hamilton 23

SH 4 9 6 4 – 23

N 9 16 13 0 – 38

South Hamilton (23) – Kaitlin Fisher 3-11 0-4 6, Kali Lucas 0-2 0-0 0, Kayla Monthei 0-2 0-0 0, Allyson Ervin 0-5 0-1 0, Kayla Lucas 3-4 2-5 8, Diana Garcia 1-3 0-0 2, Jenny Christensen 0-0 0-0 0, Savana Stangeland 0-5 2-2 2, Carly Swenson 2-4 0-0 5. Totals: 9-36 4-12 23. 3-point field goals (1): Swenson. Rebounds (37): Fisher 10. Assists (6): Ka. Lucas 2. Steals (9): Ka. Lucas 5. Blocks: None.

Nevada (38) – Claire Ausman 2-5 0-0 5, Abby Stephenson 0-2 0-0 0, Megan Pringnitz 2-7 2-2 7, Emma Lodestein 0-1 2-4 2, Alli Fey 1-9 0-0 2, Megan Anderson 0-1 0-0 0, Jessica Helton 6-14 0-1 13, Kati Cassabaum 2-5 5-6 9, Amaris Hornbuckle 0-0 0-0 0. Christine Ausman 0-3 0-0 0. Totals: 13-47 9-13 38. 3-point field goals (3): Cl. Ausman, Pringnitz, Helton. Rebounds (32): Cassabaum 7. Assists (12): Stephenson 4. Steals (19): Helton 7. Blocks (8): Cassabaum 4.

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