MAXWELL — With a three-point loss and missed opportunity from earlier in the season still on its mind, the Collins-Maxwell-Baxter girls basketball team found a little redemption Tuesday night.
After going blow-for-blow in the first half, the Raiders (5-9, 4-7 Heart of Iowa Conference) erupted for 22 points in the third quarter and cruised into a 69-50 victory over Saydel, earning some small revenge from that loss Nov. 27.
“You don’t forget it,” Raiders coach Eric Padget said. “We were up at half in that game and I felt like we let it slip away. Coming out of that, we knew we could play with them, so we worked on it in practice this week and it worked out.”
The see-saw tone of the first half was apparent right away as CMB seniors Shelby Berg and Kayla Hennick turned defense into points to keep pace in the first quarter. Four late points by sophomore Lexi Breon then gave the Raiders a small lead, which set up what would be an entertaining second quarter.
After a Breon 3-pointer, Saydel senior Hayley Jensen went on a personal 6-0 run and the Eagle press began to cause some problems for the Raiders. Saydel stretched that lead out to as many as eight points before Berg ended the run and freshman Bridget Hurley knocked down a big three off the bench.
Perhaps the most important bucket of the night occured right before halftime, however, when junior Abbie Haupert scored on an inbounds play with just 1.2 left on the clock. The shot amped up the crowd and sent CMB to the locker room trailing just 29-28.
“That bucket at the end of the half definitely spurred us on into the second half,” Padget said. “If she doesn’t make that, I don’t know if we go into the half with as much confidence as we did. That was a huge shot, and maybe her best one of the night.”
It was basically automatic for CMB from that point on. Berg and Hurley each managed steals for easy baskets on the other end and Breon nailed three threes in the third as the Raiders pulled away for a 12-point lead. Saydel took multiple timeouts to try to slow things down, but CMB kept its foot on the gas and made the fourth quarter largely a formality.
“We attacked more. All of Lexi’s threes were on drives and dishes, and even she drove more,” Padget said. “We talked at haltime about being more aggressive and taking the ball to the hole, and the girls did a great job with it.”
It was Haupert’s turn to take things over offensively in the fourth as she scored six early points to put the Eagles away further. Berg added four more points off turnovers late and the CMB bench came in to salt the game away after that.
The victory gave CMB its fourth win in the last five games, dating back to Dec. 15. With just eight games now remaining on the schedule, Padget and his squad have seen what it needs to do to make some waves in those remaining games.
Breon ended her impressive night with a game-high 19 points, while Berg and Haupert were not to be overshadowed with 17 each. The Raiders will face a tough road test at Gilbert on Friday.
“I’d like to think things are clicking, but we need to play with that kind of emotion and aggressiveness every night out,” Padget said. “If we come out flat against Gilbert Friday night, they’ll make us pay. It really comes down to us having that energy right out of the gate.”
CMB 69, Saydel 50
S — 10 19 9 12 — 50
C — 12 16 22 19 — 69
S — Jensen 17, Chubb 8, Allgood 6, Johnson 6, Richards 4, Bowman 3, Hofbauer 2, McEachron 2, Thompson 2
C — Breon 19, Berg 17, Haupert 17, Hurley 8, Hennick 4, McWhirter 2, Williams 2