CONRAD - South Tama's girls varsity team made quick work of BCLUW on Friday night and started its first winning streak of the season.
The Trojans held the Comets to fewer than seven points each quarter, while scoring more than 12 during the same four quarters. The Trojans (3-4) picked up their second-straight win after beating South Hardin three days prior, with their 71-19 victory over BCLUW (1-7).
"It was way too easy," senior Shelby Bradley said. "We started with the toughest five games in a row we've ever had. It was nice to have a game like this, to take it easy and work on things we need to focus on in our offense and defense."
South Tama senior Sherri Marland scores her first basket of the season. Marland and the Trojans bench played the entire fourth quarter Friday night as the Trojans crushed BCLUW 71-19.
South Tama removed its starters after the third quarter of action, allowing its bench to finish the final eight minutes.
"It was a nice win," coach Marsha Keahna said. "We got everybody involved and that's always nice, because it doesn't always happen. We got everybody on the floor for some time and that's a nice payoff for them. It keeps everybody in a positive mood going into the next part of the season.
"If we can do the same against Gladbrook at home on Tuesday, that would be nice," she added. "I think we can if we play unselfish, like we did tonight. We made good passes again and Meg was dishing it off again. We worked a bit last night on hitting the post, so they know to face up to Meg, instead of being away from her. She can feed them the ball better."
One highlight for the Trojans and STC fans during the final quarter came with 1:38 left in the game. Senior Sherri Marland scored her first bucket of the season, which followed with a roar from the bench and bleachers. Junior Paige Van Dyk assisted Marland on the play.
"It was nice to see that," Keahna said. "She's a senior who doesn't get a lot of time on the floor. It's nice to see her finally get a basket."
South Tama's bench scored 12 points in the fourth quarter. Junior Samantha Holtz led the way with eight points. Van Dyk added the first two. Defensively, STC held BCLUW to six points, four of which were scored in the first minute of the quarter.
"It's so fun to cheer them on," Bradley said. "We see them every day at practice, so we know what they can do."
The Trojans started the contest slowly. They scored two points during the first three minutes and battled foul trouble. Starting point guard, senior Megan Wanatee, picked up two fouls in the first 2:12 of the game. She sat on the bench for most of the quarter, but returned to hit two free throws.
A pair of three-pointers from senior Kaleigh Sieck and a two baskets from senior Jade Rohach built the Trojans a 10-4 lead. Sophomore Erin Clayton made a bucket, before four STC foul shots gave the Trojans a 16-6 lead after the opening quarter.
The Trojans continued to build their lead in the second quarter. Wanatee and Sieck each hit a three-pointer during the first three minutes. Bradley, Clayton and Wanatee added free throws as the Trojans built a 38-10 halftime advantage.
South Tama shot well as a team from the foul line. STC made 21 of 23 free throws in the victory.
"That's wonderful," Keahna said. "That's a stat any coach would be really proud of."
After a quick BCLUW free throw, South Tama burst into a 13-0 run. Rohach led the way with six points, as Sieck added four. Junior Hailee Weiss scored four points during the final two minutes of the quarter. STC led 59-13 after three periods.
"I always like it when the bench can come in and do the same things the starting five was doing," Keahna said. "They were pressuring the ball and playing defense with their feet. We set up in that 2-3 zone and still pressured their guards. I think that helped.
"They were shorter than most teams we play," she said. "When we played man-to-man, our bigs would go out to guard, they felt out of their comfort zone. You could tell they were nervous and they didn't like being that far away from the basket. I told Rohach, we can have our guards pressure and let our bigs sag off defensively. I think that was a good call on our part to do that tonight."
Ten of the 12 Trojans scored Friday night. Sieck led them with 17 points, while Rohach also scored in double figures with 12.
"Our senior goal is to have a game where everybody scores," Bradley said. "We almost had that tonight."
While the night went extraordinarily well for South Tama, Keahna saw some areas that her team needs to improve upon for the remainder of the season.
"We still have some things to work on," she said. "We can still rebound the ball a little bit. We were over their back a couple times more than I wanted to be. (BCLUW) was frustrated and they were physical, so I was proud that we kept our composure and played our style of game."
South Tama hosted Gladbrook-Reinbeck (2-6) on Tuesday. STC will travel to La Porte City on Thursday to play Union (3-4).
"If we can win Tuesday at home, we would be at .500," Keahna said. "It would be nice to be at .500 going into a tough game on Thursday. We're going to keep a positive mindset and know that we can do it."