FAIRBANK - South Tama girls basketball team's starting four seniors once again stepped up and led their squad to victory.
The four seniors scored all 32 of STC's 32 points during the second and third quarters, where the Trojans turned a close game into a blowout. They led the Trojans to their fourth victory in five games as they're now above .500 with an 8-7 record.
"It was nice to get everybody in the game again," Keahna said. "They may not have all scored, but they all got some minutes and that's a big deal for me, especially after we traveled all the way up here. I was glad we were able to do that."
South Tama junior Hailee Weiss (No. 31) hustles after a rebound and grabs it at the same time as two Wapsie Valley players Tuesday night. Weiss and the Warrior players fell to the ground and a jump ball was called by the officials. STC won the game 55-39 and has now won four of its last five games.
All 12 STC players saw plenty of action on the court Tuesday night. The majority of the bench players were on the court for the entire fourth quarter after STC built a 22-point lead after three quarters.
Junior Hailee Weiss scored a basket for the Trojans, before Wapsie Valley cut the visitor's lead to 13 points in the final minute of the contest. Junior Regina Balderas sank a three-pointer en route to scoring six points for the Trojans during the final quarter.
Wapsie Valley hit a bucket to start the second quarter and cut the STC lead to three points. Then STC took over the game and put the Warriors away before the final quarter started. After baskets from senior Jade Rohach and Kaleigh Sieck, the Warriors hit a three-pointer to keep the STC lead at five points.
Then Sieck scored the next six South Tama points. She hit a free throw, sank a three-pointer and scored a layup. Senior Megan Wanatee and Rohach scored two points each before senior Shelby Bradley drained a three-pointer to continue STC's run. STC led 32-19 at the break.
"We didn't move very well without the ball at first," Keahna said. "Our feet were stuck in concrete or something. We need to get fired up a bit faster. That's something to work on in practice."
The Trojans continued to pour on the offense in the third quarter, while playing tough defense. They allowed Wapsie Valley to score only six points during the quarter. They also held Wapsie Valley to nine points in the second quarter after a 10-point defensive effort in the first period.
"They played well defensively from the word go this time," Keahna said. "They attacked right away and that's something we've wanted them to do. It helps that we jumped on them quickly tonight."
Wanatee led STC with five points in the third quarter. Rohach and Sieck each scored four points during the same eight minutes as STC built a 47-25 lead heading into the final quarter.
"We played smarter after halftime," Keahna said. "I thought we could fall back to a 2-3 zone, but I watched them warm-up to a 2-3 zone, so we stayed in man. But we started to get tired, so maybe we need to work on improving our endurance."
South Tama started the game struggling offensively as it turned the ball over on its first three possessions. However, South Tama's defense kept it from falling behind early in the game. Rohach scored the first basket on an assist from Wanatee. Bradley hit her first three-pointer a minute later, giving STC a 5-2 lead. Then Wapsie Valley scored twice in the next minute and took its only lead of the game at 6-5.
Sieck helped STC grab the lead back with a free throw and a three-pointer off an assist from Bradley. STC finished the quarter with a 6-2 run, which included baskets from junior Sam Holtz, Bradley and Rohach.
"(Wapsie Valley) is really scrappy and they fight for every ball," Keahna said. "They were going after everything and we weren't really playing with them during the first little bit. We made some adjustments and played better after the opening minutes.
"We also didn't rebound well," she said. "We didn't block out very well and we were caught watching the basket several times. We did alright defensively, but only grabbed nine offensive boards. That's not good enough for me. We need to be in double digits."
The Trojans were battling sickness and some injuries on Tuesday night. Junior Paige Van Dyk was also injured during the game when she was knocked to the floor during the second quarter. She didn't return to the game, but might play Friday or Saturday.
"Some of them are sick and not feeling well," Keahna said. "We need to get healthy for the final part of our season."
South Tama will host BCLUW at 7:30 p.m. Friday and travel to La Porte City to play Union on Saturday. STC will play at Gladbrook-Reinbeck and AGWSR next week.
"It will be nice to be back at home," Keahna said. "Hopefully we can get everybody back in the game again and play well Friday."