By Dustin Henggeler
Despite the success they’ve seen this season, Northeast Nodaway Coach Joyce Stiens knew her team was capable of more. Their 62-37 win over the West Nodaway Rockets on January 4 in Burlington Jct. demonstrated several steps in the right direction Stiens knew the team was capable of.
“You never know how a team is going to come out after a 30-point loss like we had last night against Stanberry, but I thought we reacted real well offensively and defensively tonight,” Stiens said. “We’d been struggling with outside shooting this season so that was really something to see with Blair (Stoll) hitting those threes. If she can keep that up, it will really add to our capabilities on offense.”
On the flip side, West Nodaway showed a lot of energy all four quarters, something Rocket Coach Skyler Zimmerman was needing from them since he was down for the count all week.
“I’ve been sick all week and told the girls today that I’d need them to be able to run the game without me talking much tonight,” Zimmerman said. “I was really proud of the energy they brought and how they were able to just do their thing tonight despite the loss.”
While it was West Nodaway who struck first with a basket from Brittney McIntyre, Northeast Nodaway got hot quickly with an eight-point run as they went on to lead the Rockets 13-8 after the first quarter. By halftime, they doubled up their lead to 32-14 including the first two three-pointers from Stoll in her game-high 18-point performance which included four three-pointers.
Back-to-back steals by Paige West led to points for the Bluejays as they brought their lead to 43-23 into the fourth quarter before opening it up more for the 20+ win over the Rockets.
Behind Stoll’s 18 points were MaKayla Adwell with 15, Madelynn Mattson with nine, Gerry Runde with eight, West with seven, Alba Vozmediano with three and Anne Schieber with two points.
For West Nodaway, it was Piper Hunt who led with 10 points followed by McIntyre with seven, Lexi Moore and Jana Dow with six each, Erin Cook with five, Chloe Schimming with two and Mackenzie Finney with one point.