By Jeff Barker-
After two consecutive two-point losses prior to this game, the South Tama County ninth grade girls showed their mettle Jan. 9 and rebounded against Grundy Center, 36-33.
South Tama fell behind in the first quarter, 12-6, but reversed that in the second quarter, leaving things all tied up at the half, 20-20. Erin Clayton's three baskets along with Sydney Upah's four points helped pace the Trojans. Also getting into the first half scoring mix were Naomi Hoskey, Taylor Ellenbecker and Kristin Upah.
Front row (left to right) - Shi-ann Fisher, Erin Clayton, Sydney Upah, Naomi Hoskey
Back row -(l-r) Kiley Culbertson, Sadako Bagaye, Alexis Herrera, Kristen Upah
-Deb Wacha photo
"I told the girls at halftime we could pressure them and they couldn't handle our press. So, we needed to get out there and go all out, and if they got tired, let me know and we'd get subs in," said STC ninth grade coach Julie Berger.
The girls responded with what turned out to be the key quarter in the victory. South Tama had five field goals by five different players plus a pair of free throws, while holding the Spartans to just six points.
Taylor Ellenbecker started things off with a basket with 6:25 to go to make it 22-20 Trojans. Sydney Upah followed with a basket at 6:08. Betz added one at 4:35, Clayton at 2:51and Tori Appelgate hit with 2:22 left. Clayton calmly drained a pair of freethrows with 1:01 to go for the final points of the quarter. South Tama was out front, 32-26.
The Trojans only scored four points in the fourth quarter, but when Betz put South Tama up by six with 1:36 to go, the Trojans were in control in the low-scoring game. South Tama prevailed, 36-33.
"What we need to look at is getting the ball inside more to Clayton," commented Berger as she looked ahead. "She's averaging close to 18 points a game and 16 boards, so we've got to get the ball in there. We'll work on that."
Clayton double-doubled against the Spartans, scoring 12 points and hauling down 15 rebounds.
"At the end of the game, it was the first time we'd run our delay and you could tell that. We'll work on that this week and get it going."
A pleased Berger reflected on the overall performance of her players.
"Syd Upah played well in many positions. She can play every position on the floor. Samantha Betz is starting to come on for us. In the beginning of the season she was hurt and we didn't have her. So, we're getting it together. Naomi's a good 'quarterback' and can run our offense and does anything I ask of her."
Scoring - Clayton 12, Betz 8, S Upah 6, Ellenbecker 4, Hoskey 2, K Upah 2, Appelgate 2
Rebounds - Clayton 15, S Upah 5, Betz 4, Ellenbecker 4, Hoskey 1
Assists - Hoskey 3, S Upah 2, K Upah 2
Steals - S Upah 5, Clayton 4, Betz 2, Ellenbecker 1, Hoskey 1
Blocks - Clayton 2
Vs. West Marshall
STC Freshman girls basketball team played at West Marshall on Feb. 3. STC freshman girls took on their JV team. From the start we were out matched but STC tried their best. STC started out slow and found themselves behind at half time 35-7.
STC played better in the second half and played pretty even ball. The final score was West Marshall 59 and STC 21.
Naomi Hoskey lead the team in scoring with 6 pts. She also had 1 assist and 1 steal. Erin Clayton had 5 pts, 9 rebounds and 6 blocks. Sam Betz had 2 pts, 10 rebounds and 1 steal. Sydney Upah had 2 pts, 2 rebounds and 1 block. Shi-ann Fisher hit her first 3 of the season. Taylor Ellenbecker had 2 pts, and 2 rebounds. Tori Applegate had 1 pt, and 2 rebounds. Kristen Upah had 2 rebounds and 2 steals. Kiley Culbertson had 2 rebounds and 1 assist.
Vs. Wapsie Valley
STC Freshman girls basketball team played Wapsie Valley on Jan. 24. STC started out slow and found themselves behind at halftime 14-8. Going into the 4th the score was 24-13 Wapsie Valley. STC played hard in the 4th and outscored Wapsie 17-12 but couldn't overcome the large gap.
Wapsie Valley took the game 36-30.
STC girls hosted a very talented Grinnell team on Jan. 19. STC girls stayed with Grinnell in the first quarter and was behind 7-10.
Grinnell had a huge 2nd and 3rd quarters to blow the game apart. Grinnell won the game 55-16. One thing to note was that STC was playing without their leading scorer Erin Clayton who was out with an illness.
On the postive side Sam Betz played excellent defense by taking 4 charges. Naomi Hoskey had 6 pts, and 2 rebounds. Sam Betz had 3 points, 5 rebounds and 5 steals. Sydney Upah had 5 pts, 2 rebounds and 2 steals. Shi-ann Fisher had 2 points and 1 rebound. Kristen Upah had 2 rebounds and 1 steal. Kiley Culbertson had 1 rebound.
I was proud of the girls with their never give up attitude. I think if we had another couple minutes we could have made the game very interesting.
Sam Betz had a great game with 12 points, 9 rebounds and 1 steal. Erin Clayton also played well with 9 points, 18 rebounds, 9 blocks, 4 assists and 1 steal. Both of those girls are posts and they are now playing well together. Sydney Upah had 4 points, 3 rebounds, 5 big steals, 2 assists and 1 block. Taylor Ellenbecker had 2 pts, 2 rebounds and 2 steals.Shi-ann Fisher had 1 rebound and 1 steal. Kristen Upah had 1 steal and 1 assist. Tori Applegate had 1 assist.
Vs. Waterloo West
STC started out strong and played tough defense to lead after the 1st quarter 14-2. STC continued with that tough play and lead at half time 26-4. STC had a little let down in the 3rd but played better in the 4th to take the win 36-21. As a team we played well and ran our offense.
It was nice to get the win. My two posts Clayton and Betz played well. Also Sydney Upah had a big game. Erin Clayton had 12 points, 11 rebounds 4 blocks, 2 steals and 1 assist. Sam Betz had 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. Sydney Upah had 6 pts, 7 huge steals, 2 rebounds and 3 assists. Naomi Hoskey had 4 pts, 2 rebounds, 1 steals and 1 assist. Kiley Culbetson had 2 pts, and 1 rebound. Kristen Upah had 6 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 assist. Shi-ann Fisher had 2 rebounds. Kyrsha Balderas had an assis
STC played pretty even basketball against the taller AGWSR players in the first half. After the 1st quarter the score was tied 7-7 and at half time AGWSR had the slim lead 21-18. STC girls came out strong the second half and closed the gap at the end of the 3rd with the score AGWSR leading 32-30. In the fourth, South Tama lost two key players due to injuries and couldn't stay with them and ended up losing the game 33-41.
Erin Clayton had 7 points, 10 rebounds, 7 blocks, 1 steal and 1 assist. Sydney Upah had 7 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 assist. Naomi Hoskey had 6 points. Sam Betz had 2 points, 5 rebounds and 1 block. Taylor Ellenbecker had 4 pts, 3 steals and 3 assists. Tori Applegate had 3 pts, and 1 rebound. Kristen Upah had 2 pts, 1 rebound, 1 assist and 1 steal. Alexis Herrena had 2 pts. Shi-ann Fisher had 1 rebound.