By Dustin Henggeler

Despite a lackluster start, it was a dominating performance for the North Nodaway Mustang girls in their 51-20 win over the West Nodaway Rockets January 24. The two teams matched up in pool play of the NWMO Tournament in Burlington Jct.

The Rockets held on despite an 0-4 start behind the Mustangs, trailing just 5-11 behind North Nodaway after the first quarter.

“They came out ready to play and we came out with the mentality that we’d already won,” North Nodaway Head Coach Sami Jackson said of her team. “And you can’t do that against anyone.”

But the Mustangs made up for it over the next two quarters as Madison Thompson began making her presence known under the basket to limit rebounds. That combined well with steady perimeter defense by the remaining North Nodaway players as the Mustangs held West Nodaway to just three points in both the second and third quarters. The Rockets scored just eight points in the first half as the Mustangs unloaded 18 in the second quarter alone from seven different shooters.

“I thought our three-quarter trap defense looked the best it has all year tonight,” Jackson said of her team’s ability to pressure West Nodaway into rushed possessions and turnovers.

Trailing 11-41, West Nodaway was not down for the count. Instead, the Rockets finished strong with a 9-10 fourth quarter behind the Mustangs for a final score of 51-20.

Leading North Nodaway was Madison Thompson with 16 followed by Kandace Damgar with eight; Alisha Davison with seven; Kristin Herndon with six; Audrey Trimble and Kelsi Oberhauser with four each; and Bethany Herndon, Isabel Metzgar and Keagan O’Riley with two points each.

For West Nodaway, it was Alissa Nelson and Kristine Ecker leading with four points each; Paige Hagey and Chloe Schimming with thee points each; and Brittney McIntyre, Faith Sanders and Lexi Moore with two points each.