COLFAX — Colfax-Mingo’s girls’ basketball team has struggled to stay with Lynnville-Sully since joining the South Iowa Cedar League four seasons ago.
The Hawks’ margin of victory against Colfax-Mingo in the last six meetings has been 26 points. And if you charted only the first halves of those games, the margin is much larger.
The Tigerhawks did their best to flip the script against Lynnville-Sully on Tuesday night. Colfax-Mingo led by two points after the first quarter and were still within seven points in the third before the Class 1A No. 14 Hawks pulled away in the fourth quarter.
The Hawks won the South Iowa Cedar League game 65-45, but Colfax-Mingo coach Jeff Clemens was proud of his team’s effort.
“I thought the kids played as hard as they have from what I have seen all season and part of last year,” Clemens said. “They came out and weren’t willing to fold. They worked hard all the way though the game. That’s the mentality they have right now.”
Four Lynnville-Sully players reached double-figures and the Hawks’ size eventually won out against the smaller Tigerhawks.
L-S coach Jerry Hulsing was not happy with his team’s defensive effort in the first quarter, but the Hawks picked up their intensity in the final three quarters to pull away.
“We had to play better defense,” Hulsing said. “A lot of those layups came off screens, and we weren’t looking to help or switch off that. We did better with that from the second quarter on.”
The Hawks scored the game’s first seven points, but Colfax-Mingo rallied behind a pair of buckets from sophomore Crystal Lincoln. Lincoln scored all six of her points in the first frame, and an 8-0 run put the Tigerhawks up 12-10.
Lincoln’s jumper at the end of the quarter made it 14-12 in favor of the home team.
“She’s been playing some good basketball,” Clemens said. “She’s been tough. She just needs more experience.”
The Hawks did a much better job of closing off driving lanes in the second quarter, but L-S still had trouble putting the home team away.
L-S scored the first six points of the second quarter to regain the lead for good, but the Tigerhawks stayed within single digits on a jumper from senior Payton Rhone late in the second quarter.
Junior Mallory Loftus led all scorers in the game with 20 points. She had nine in the second quarter. Senior Carson Fisk scored seven of her of 16 points in the first quarter but had to go to the bench with two fouls later in the half.
“I always try to get us going early in the games. I think it’s important to get a lead early and try to stay in the game,” said Fisk, who also had five rebounds and two steals. “It’s definitely important to have more than one option though.”
The Tigerhawks got within six early in the third quarter when senior Jordan Atwood scored in the lane. Atwood scored 10 points and grabbed seven boards in the loss.
L-S countered that bucket with a 7-0 run that made it a nine-point game. Rhone tried to keep the game close with a layup and a 3-pointer, but the Hawks scored 11 points during that stretch to stay in front by 15.
Colfax-Mingo trailed by 11 after three quarters.
The Hawks opened the fourth with eight straight points to push the margin to 19. The Tigerhawks continued to battle but never got closer than 17 the rest of the way.
“You want to be able to execute when it matters and we had to do that until the end tonight,” Hulsing said. “If we make some of the easy ones that we missed early, it may not have been as close, but they battled tonight and rebounded it well tonight.
“Give Colfax-Mingo a lot of credit. They were scrappy and physical. We just have to take the contact and finish better inside.”
It was the third straight win for Lynnville-Sully. The Haws are now 5-1 overall and 2-1 in conference play. Colfax-Mingo dropped to 1-3 overall and 1-2 in league play.
After Loftus and Fisk, the Hawks got 10 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks from sophomore Krystal Van Dyke and 11 rebounds, nine assists and three steals from senior Shiloh Cunningham.
Junior Janelle Rozendaal was the fourth player in double-figures. She scored 10 points and grabbed six boards.
“It was great to have four kids in double figures which was a key to us executing our offense well,” Hulsing said.
The Hawks out-rebounded Colfax-Mingo 45-34 and had a 19-8 advantage on the offensive end. L-S also had 15 assists on its 21 field goals and held a 15-point advantage at the foul line.
Lynnville-Sully made 21-of-29 from the free-throw line, while Colfax-Mingo was 6-of-10.
Clemens said the main reason the Tigerhawks were unable to keep it close in the fourth quarter was because of lack of execution on the offensive end. He also said the Hawks’ size eventually was too much to handle.
“We got discombobulated on the offensive end. We spent too much time dribbling and weren’t running the offense,” Clemens said. “Their size is tough to guard. We are 5-4, 5-5 and 5-6 and they are 5-8 and 5-9. It’s hard to guard against that and keep them out of the lane. If they got into the lane, they got an open shot because they went up over us.”
Rhone was the Tigerhawk who drew the most attention from the L-S defense. She came into the night averaging 18 points per game but was held to 11. She also had four assists.
“She’s a good shooter so we wanted to have a hand in her face with every shot and then force others to make shots, too,” Hulsing said.
Senior Camilla Schlosser added seven points and seven rebounds for the Tigerhawks, while senior Colbee Cunningham and Lincoln each had six points and five rebounds.
Lynnville-Sully hosts HLV at 6 p.m. on Friday in Sully. Colfax-Mingo hosts BGM at 6 p.m. on Friday in Colfax.
Lynnville-Sully 12-17-16-20 — 65
Colfax-Mingo 14-7-13-11 — 45
Lynnville-Sully (FG/3pt-FT-F-TP) — Mallory Loftus 7/1-5-3-20, Carson Fisk 6/1-3-2-16, Krystal Van Dyke 4-2-4-10, Janelle Rozendaal 2-6-1-10, Korinne Jansen 1-1-1-3, Shiloh Cunningham 1-0-2-2, Cally Gibbs 0-2-1-2, Kaylee Maasdam 0-2-0-2. Totals 21/2-21-14-65.
Colfax-Mingo (FG/3pt-FT-F-TP) — Payton Rhone 5/1-0-0-11, Jordan Atwood 5-0-5-10, Camilla Schlosser 3-1-4-7, Colbee Cunningham 2-2-2-6, Crystal Lincoln 3-0-2-6, Brennan Rhone 1-0-4-2, Delaney Underwood 0-2-1-2, Melany Vry 0-1-1-1, Avery Rague 0-0-2-0. Totals 19/1-6-20-45.