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Royal girls open regional play with a romp

Colo-Nesco point guard Shayla Dean goes up for a layup over Southeast Webster-Grand’s Macy DeVries (rear) and Emma Clausen during the No. 4 Royals’ 68-39 Class 1A regional quarterfinal victory Tuesday in Colo. Dean had 19 points, 10 steals and five assists on the night.
Colo-Nesco point guard Shayla Dean goes up for a layup over Southeast Webster-Grand’s Macy DeVries (rear) and Emma Clausen during the No. 4 Royals’ 68-39 Class 1A regional quarterfinal victory Tuesday in Colo. Dean had 19 points, 10 steals and five assists on the night.
Colo-Nesco’s Tabitha Halferty goes up for a hook shot on the baseline against Southeast Webster-Grand’s Aaliyah Scott during the Royals’ regional quarterfinal victory over the Eagles Tuesday.
Colo-Nesco’s Tabitha Halferty goes up for a hook shot on the baseline against Southeast Webster-Grand’s Aaliyah Scott during the Royals’ regional quarterfinal victory over the Eagles Tuesday.
Hannah Buseman
Hannah Buseman
Madison Farren
Madison Farren
Makaelyn Neuendorf
Makaelyn Neuendorf
Melanie Van Loon
Melanie Van Loon

COLO – After sweating it out for a few minutes, the No. 4 Colo-Nesco girls’ basketball team got rolling and never slowed down in a 68-39 Class 1A regional quarterfinal victory over Southeast Webster-Grand Tuesday in Colo.

Southeast Webster-Grand pulled to within 25-21 late in the second quarter.

At the time it appeared the Royals were a bit rattled. They were playing in their first postseason game after receiving an opening-round bye and the Eagles were coming off a 53-16 victory over Northeast Hamilton in the opening round last Thursday.

The Royals were also hurt by early foul trouble to center Caitlyn Riese.

But a big spark from all-state point guard Shayla Dean quickly ended any thoughts of an Eagle upset.

With 2:38 left in the first half, Dean hit 1 of 2 free throws to start a decisive 18-0 Colo-Nesco run.

Madison Farren added with a bucket inside and Melanie Van Loon scored off a drive for the Royals. Just before the end of the half, Dean stole the ball and drove in for a layup right before the buzzer to give her team a 32-21 lead.

Dean carried over the momentum into the third quarter by draining a 3-pointer for Colo-Nesco’s first points of the second half. The Royals were off and running.

“We had to get it going,” Dean said. “Everyone wanted to get that little spark in us, so why not me to get it going?”

Farren followed Dean’s 3-pointer with a free throw, Van Loon scored another basket, Hannah Buseman converted a three-point play down low, Riese scored off a putback and the Royals were suddenly ahead 43-21.

By the end of the quarter Colo-Nesco’s lead had swelled to 58-27 and the final outcome wasn’t in doubt.

Dean and Colo-Nesco’s veteran inside tandem of Riese and Farren combined for 49 points.

Dean finished with 19 points, 10 steals and five assists. Riese and Farren accounted for 30 points and 14 rebounds between them as Riese had 18 points, four rebounds and one block and Farren chipped in a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

“Caitlyn and I have a lot of experience and we enjoy playing with each other,” Farren said. “It just helps that we all have confidence in each other.”

Van Loon and Makaelyn Neuendorf have also been stepping up offensively toward the end of the regular season. On Tuesday Van Loon finished with eight points and Neuendorf had five points, five assists, four rebounds and four steals.

“Muck (Neuendorf) is shooting the 3 and getting us going and Mel (Van Loon) has been driving more,” Dean said. “Once one person gets going we all get going.”

Hannah Buseman also scored five points and Tabitha Halferty contributed one point and four rebounds for the Royals.

The victory put Colo-Nesco at 21-1 on the season. The Royals just need two more victories to earn their second consecutive trip to state.

“Every game, we have more confidence and more fuel to get to Wells (Fargo Arena),” Farren said. “Last year even drives us more to get there again.”

Colo-Nesco will face Coon Rapids-Bayard (18-5) this Friday in the regional semifinals. The game will start at 7 p.m. in Colo.

Southeast Webster-Grand ended its season at 8-15. Jossie Ferrari and Nicole Williams both netted 10 points in a losing effort for the Eagles.

Colo-Nesco 68, Southeast Webster-Grand 39

SEW-G 14 7 6 12 – 39

C-N 20 12 26 10 – 68

Southeast Webster-Grand (39) – Jossie Ferrari 5 0-4 10, Nicole Williams 5 0-3 10, Kierra Eldridge 2 0-0 6, Aaliyah Scott 1 0-0 2, Josie Breitsprecher 2 0-0 4, Macy DeVries 0 0-0 0, Emma Clausen 1 1-2 2, Kent Geis 1 0-0 2, Sage Michalski 0 0-0 0, Kearsten Hainzinger 0 0-0 0, Emma Graves 0 0-0 0, Kennedy Gallentine 0 2-2 2, Carmen Geis 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 3-11 39. 3-point field goals (2): Eldridge 2.

Colo-Nesco (68) – Jillian Gibbons 0 0-0 0, Leah Vincent 0 0-0 0, Hannah Buseman 2 1-1 5, Madison Farren 4 4-6 12, Kassie Robinson 0 0-0 0, Shayla Dean 8 1-3 19, Rachel Vincent 0 0-0 0, Peyton Hall 0 0-0 0, Melanie Van Loon 4 0-4 8, Makaelyn Neuendorf 2 0-0 5, Tabitha Halferty 0 1-3 1, Caitlyn Riese 8 2-3 18. Totals: 28 9-20 68. 3-point field goals (3): Dean 2, Neuendorf.

COLO – Colo-Nesco concluded the regular season with an exciting 51-47 come-from-behind victory over Roland-Story in non-conference play Feb. 11 at Colo.

Going up against a bigger 2A school, the Royals – ranked No. 4 in 1A – were completely out of sync to start the game. By the end of the first quarter they were in a big hole, trailing 20-5.

After calming down, the Royals entered the second quarter refocused and ready to make a run. They outscored the Norse by 12 points in the period to pull within 28-25 at the half.

In the second half both teams played tough defense early. Through three quarters Roland-Story still had a three-point advantage at 38-35.

With eight minutes left Colo-Nesco dug down deep and played like a team with big-game experience. The Royals outscored the Norse 16-9 down the stretch to complete the comeback and improve their season record to an impressive 20-1.

Colo-Nesco prevailed despite getting outshot and outrebounded.

Roland-Story shot 48 percent from the field, compared to Colo-Nesco’s 38-percent showing. The Norse also posted a 31-18 rebounding advantage.

Turnovers helped Colo-Nesco get over the hump. The Royals had 16 steals as a team and that helped them get off 12 more shots from the field, which made up for their accuracy gap as Colo-Nesco made one more shot than Roland-Story (20 to 19).

Colo-Nesco also limited Roland-Story to only five free-throw attempts. The Royals went 5 of 10 from the line.

Shayla Dean, Makaelyn Neuendorf and Caitlyn Riese keyed the victory for Colo-Nesco.

Dean scored nine points and she also handed out eight assists and came away with six steals. Neuendorf netted a team-high 15 points after making 4 of 7 3-pointers and she also delivered three steals and two assists.

Riese poured in 14 points on 7 of 13 shooting. She added three steals and one block.

Madison Farren was the top Royal rebounder with six boards and she also scored three points. Melanie Van Loon added seven points and three assists for the Royals.

Natalie Vance scored a game-high 18 points for Roland-Story. She also had three assists and two steals.

Brooke Staker and Alexa Whipple chipped in nine points apiece and Taylor Olson added five points, nine rebounds, four assists and one block for the Norse.

Colo-Nesco 51, Roland-Story 47

R-S 20 8 10 9 – 47

C-N 5 20 10 16 – 51

Roland-Story (47) – Kirsten Waline 0-1 0-0 0, Lexi Crutchfield 0-0 0-0 0, Brittany Hammes 2-4 0-0 6, Natalie Vance 8-21 1-1 18, Brooke Staker 3-7 0-0 9, Taylor Olson 2-2 1-2 5, Alexa Whipple 4-4 1-2 9, Samantha Janvrin 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 19-40 3-5 47. 3-point field goals (6): Staker 3, Hammes 2, Vance. Rebounds (310: Olson 9. Assists (11): Olson 4. Steals (4): Vance 2. Blocks (1): Olson.

Colo-Nesco (51) – Hannah Buseman 0-0 1-2 1, Madison Farren 1-6 1-2 3, Shayla Dean 3-12 2-4 9, Melanie Van Loon 3-7 0-0 7, Makaelyn Neuendorf 5-13 1-2 15, Tabitha Halferty 1-1 0-0 2, Caitlyn Riese 7-13 0-0 14. Totals: 20-52 5-10 47. 3-point field goals (6): Neuendorf 4, Dean, Van Loon. Rebounds (18): Farren 6. Assists (14): Dean 8. Steals (16): Dean 6. Blocks (1): Riese.

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