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HOIC champs!

Nevada point guard Jessica Helton celebrated senior night with 20 points to help the No. 9 Cubs (Class 2A) whip Greene County by a 56-25 score Monday at the Nevada High School Field House. The victory wrapped up outright the Heart of Iowa Conference championship for the Cubs, who finished 17-1 in the conference. It is the Nevada girls’ first conference title since 1988. Photo by Joe Randleman
Nevada point guard Jessica Helton celebrated senior night with 20 points to help the No. 9 Cubs (Class 2A) whip Greene County by a 56-25 score Monday at the Nevada High School Field House. The victory wrapped up outright the Heart of Iowa Conference championship for the Cubs, who finished 17-1 in the conference. It is the Nevada girls’ first conference title since 1988. Photo by Joe Randleman
Nevada senior Emma Lodestein flips a pass over to teammate Megan Pringnitz (10) during the second half of the Cubs’ conference championship-clinching victory over Greene County Monday. Photo by Joe Randleman
Nevada senior Emma Lodestein flips a pass over to teammate Megan Pringnitz (10) during the second half of the Cubs’ conference championship-clinching victory over Greene County Monday. Photo by Joe Randleman
Alli Fey goes up against two Ram defenders. Photo by Joe Randleman
Alli Fey goes up against two Ram defenders. Photo by Joe Randleman
Claire Ausman dribbles around the edge of the court. Photo by Joe Randleman
Claire Ausman dribbles around the edge of the court. Photo by Joe Randleman
Megan Pringnitz lines up for a shot. Photo by Joe Randleman
Megan Pringnitz lines up for a shot. Photo by Joe Randleman
Jessie Helton heads for the basket around a Greene County defender. Photo by Joe Randleman
Jessie Helton heads for the basket around a Greene County defender. Photo by Joe Randleman

NEVADA – For the first time since 1988, the Nevada girls’ basketball program can be called conference champions.

The Cubs, ranked No. 9 in Class 3A, completed an impressive 17-1 run through the Heart of Iowa Conference with a 56-25 dismantling of Greene County Monday at the Nevada High School Field House.

“This was a great way to celebrate senior night,” Nevada head coach Kristin Meyer said. “We had a lot of girls stepping up to win the conference championship outright. It was a fun way to end the regular season.”

Nevada used an incredible third quarter to break open a tight game.

The Cubs led 23-19 at the half. Freshman Claire Ausman drained a 3-pointer and Jessica Helton scored off a steal to increase Nevada’s lead to nine points right off the bat in the third period.

Kati Cassabaum added a basket to give Nevada a 30-19 advantage. Hannah Onken hit 1 of 2 free throws with six minutes, 28 seconds left in the third to pull the Rams within 10.

That turned out to be the only point Greene County would score in the entire quarter.

Ausman and Helton each canned a 3-pointer to force Greene County coach Chad Morton to call time out with 5:50 left. The timeout out did no good.

When play resumed, Cassabaum scored inside and Alli Fey hit a 3-pointer for Nevada. Helton made 3 of 4 free throws in the final 17 seconds of the third quarter to give Nevada a 44-20 lead.

“We just started clicking in the third quarter,” Nevada head coach Kristin Meyer said. “We weren’t gelling in the first half, so I was proud of our girls for coming out with more focus and energy.”

Picking up the pressure on defense played a big part in Nevada’s ability to turn things around in the third quarter.

“Our press worked so much better,” Meyer said. “We were communicating better and we just went after it.”

The relentless Cub defense produced 14 steals and 10 blocks. Nevada also held Greene County to an abysmal 17-percent shooting night from the field (7 of 42).

The 3-pointer was Nevada’s big weapon on offense. The Cubs made 10 3-pointers against the Rams.

Helton turned in a tremendous performance on senior night. The veteran guard scored a game-high 20 points and added six assists and five steals.

“My shooting was on,” Helton said. “My teammates were getting me the ball and my shots were falling, which was awesome.”

Helton added that it was nice to secure the team’s first conference championship in 26 years in her final regular-season home game.

“Everyone knew it was a big deal for us,” Helton said. “It’s awesome.”

Ausman also had big game. She matched Helton with four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points and four steals.

Cassabaum was an intimidating defensive presence in the low post for Nevada. She ended up with eight points, eight rebounds and seven blocks.

Abby Stephenson tacked on six points and four rebounds for the Cubs, who improved to 17-4 overall on the season. Ally Fey had five points; Megan Pringnitz finished with three points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals and Christine Ausman blocked three shots.

Marissa Promes and Kayla Mobley both scored six points and Mobley also had two assists and two steals for Greene County.

Nevada will play Greene County again this Saturday to begin 3A regional play. The game will take place at 7 p.m., back at the Nevada High School Field House.

Nevada 56, Greene County 25

GC 6 13 1 5 – 25

N 12 11 21 12 – 56

Greene County (25) – Emma Saddoris 1-1 0-0 2, Thea Ballard 1-3 0-0 2, Allie Stoline 0-1 0-0 0, Tressa Rasmussen 0-1 0-0 0, Abby Bravard 0-1 0-0 0, Stacy Mears 0-5 0-0 0, Marissa Promes 3-8w 0-0 6, Emily Christensen 0-9 2-2 2, Jolee Wessling 1-4 3-4 5, Kayla Mobley 1-6 4-4 6, Hannah Onken 0-3 2-4 2. Totals: 7-42 10-11 25. 3-point field goals: None. Rebounds (36): Mobley 7. Assists (6): Bravard 2, Mobley 2. Steals (5): Mears 2, Mobley 2. Blocks: None.

Nevada (56) – Claire Ausman 5-11 0-0 14, Abby Stephenson 2-4 2-2 6, Megan Pringnitz 1-13 0-0 3, Emma Lodestein 0-2 0-0 0, Raegan Saunders 0-0 0-0 0, Alli Fey 2-3 0-0 5, Jessica Helton 5-12 6-8 20, Kati Cassabaum 4-6 0-3 8, Amaris Hornbuckle 0-2 0-0 0, Christine Ausman 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 19-54 8-13 56. 3-point field goals (10): Cl. Ausman 4, Helton 4, Pringnitz, Fey. Rebounds (30): Cassabaum 8. Assists (15): Helton 6. Steals (14): Helton 5. Blocks (10): Cassabaum 7.

NEVADA – Great defense in the second half propelled Nevada to a 50-34 victory over Roland-Story Saturday at the Nevada High School Field House.

The Cubs held the Norse to 10 points over the final two quarters. Nevada led 26-24 at the half, increased its lead to 36-28 through three quarters and pulled away late to earn a season sweep of Roland-Story.

Nevada prevailed despite only shooting 35 percent from the field. The Cubs did well from the line, making 17 of 22 free throws, and they canned five 3-pointers.

The intimidating presence of center Kati Cassabaum helped Nevada dominate defensively. Cassabaum blocked eight shots and the Cubs finished with 11 blocks as a team.

Cassabaum also controlled the boards, ripping down a whopping 18 rebounds to finish with a double-double. The sophomore also chipped in six points.

Jessica Helton led Nevada in scoring with 17 points and she also contributed three steals and two assists. Helton did most of her damage from the line, converting 11 of 14 free throws.

Abby Stephenson and Emma Lodestein scored eight points apiece, Megan Pringnitz chipped in six and Claire Ausman netted five in a balanced Cub attack. Lodestein also had six rebounds and two blocks and Pringnitz finished with five rebounds, four assists, three steals and one block.

Nevada 50, Roland-Story 34

R-S 11 13 4 6 – 34

N 10 16 10 14 – 50

Nevada (50) – Claire Ausman 1-5 2-2 5, Abby Stephenson 3-7 2-2 8, Megan Pringnitz 2-7 0-0 6, Emma Lodestein 4-5 0-0 8, Raegan Saunders 0-2 0-2 0, Jessica Helton 2-9 11-14 17, Kati Cassabaum 2-5 2-2 6, Christine Ausman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 14-40 17-22 50. 3-point field goals (5): Pringnitz 2, Helton 2, Cl. Ausman. Rebounds (35): Cassabaum 18. Assists (11): Pringnitz 4. Steals (6): Pringnitz 3, Helton 3. Blocks (11): Cassabaum 8.

GILBERT – Three quarters of great play on both ends of the floor resulted in a 59-27 victory by Nevada over rival Gilbert Friday at Gilbert.

The Cubs held Gilbert to just 17 points over the first three quarters. Nevada topped that point total by the end of the first quarter.

Nevada led 32-10 at the half. By the end of the third quarter, the Cubs had sewed up the victory as they held a 38-point lead.

Nevada held Gilbert to 33-percent shooting and outrebounded the Tigers by a 34-21 margin. The Cubs shot 48 percent from the field and made 8 of 17 3-pointers.

Jessica Helton hit 8 of 14 field goals and 3 of 6 3-pointers, tallying 19 points for Nevada. Kati Cassabaum posted a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds and she also delivered seven blocks, four assists and one steal.

Megan Pringnitz added 14 points, four rebounds and four assists for Nevada.

Freshmen Claire Ausman and Abby Stephenson tacked on five points apiece. Ausman also had three blocks, two assists and two steals and Stephenson finished with six rebounds and three assists.

Emma Lodestein scored four points and dished out two assists and Christine Ausman contributed two points and one block for Nevada.

Hillary Mosiman paced Gilbert with eight points, four rebounds, two steals and one assist. Taylor Broshar and Jane Brown each scored five points and Brown also had eight rebounds and one block for the Tigers.

Nevada 59, Gilbert 27

N 19 13 23 4 – 59

G 5 5 7 10 – 27

Nevada (59) – Claire Ausman 1-2 2-2 5, Abby Stephenson 2-6 1-1 5, Megan Pringnitz 5-8 0-0 14, Emma Lodestein 2-3 0-0 4, Raegan Saunders 0-0 0-0 0, Jessica Helton 8-14 0-0 19, Kati Cassabaum 4-11 2-4 10, Amaris Hornbuckle 0-1 0-0 0, Christine Ausman 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 23-48 5-7 59. 3-point field goals (8): Pringnitz 4, Helton 3, Cl. Ausman. Rebounds (34): Cassabaum 11. Assists (16): Pringnitz 4, Cassabaum 4. Steals (3): Cl. Ausman 2. Blocks (11): Cassabaum 7.

Gilbert (27) – Olivia Tibben 0-0 0-0 0, Katie Reed 0-2 1-2 1, Hillary Mosiman 3-10 2-2 8, Madison Blum 1-2 0-0 2, Kelly Anderson 0-1 0-0 0, Paige Hoiberg 0-3 0-0 0, Taylor Broshar 2-5 0-0 5, Elise Powers 1-2 0-0 2, Jacee Lenz 1-1 0-0 2, Jane Brown 2-4 1-1 5, Chase DeBont 0-0 0-0 0, Rachel Tretina 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 11-33 4-5 27. 3-point field goals (1): Broshar. Rebounds (21): Brown 8. Assists (5): Hoiberg 2. Steals (6): Mosiman 2. Blocks (1): Brown.

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