It's on to Round Two for South Tama's varsity girls after beating the Benton Bobcats for the second time in two days. The Trojans will travel to Center Point-Urbana Wednesday evening and will take on the CPU Stormin' Pointers on their home court.
Looking back on Saturday's match-up, it's fair to say that the Trojans dominated the Bobcats from the first seconds of the game. Starting for STC were Regina Balderas, Trisha Walz, Madie Bacon and Paige Van Dyk. Gabi Kuester, Alyssa Wiebel, Lea Brunssen, Natalie Parizek and Margaret Weirather made up Bentons starting lineup.
With a determined drive down the right side of the lane, Bacon started things off for the Trojan offense. Kuester quickly answered with a spot up jumper but after a basket from Keahna the Trojans stepped on the gas and never looked back. By the end of the first quarter the Trojans had a lead of 15 to 6 which they would go on to extend by halftime.
Madie Bacon takes a shot and is fouled in first Regional game against Benton on Saturday Feb. 15.
Chronicle Photo/Allison Graham
A key point in the Trojan's victory was a three-two zone defense that antagonized the Bobcat's shooters and disrupted their offense all night. Coach Marsha Keahna credited the Trojan's advantage on Saturday to the practice time in which they made adjustments in their defense to focus on Weibel, Benton's primary perimeter shooting threat. The Trojan defense held Weibel to just five points in the first half. In the words of former NBA great Allen Iverson, "We're talking about practice?!". Practice indeed paid off as the Trojans looked focused and confident on the court. Bacon, Balderas, Stubbs and Keahna all added to the massive Trojan lead of 23 point at halftime lead. This was a remarkable improvement over the 26-26 tie at halftime against Benton on Thursday.
The momentum would shift in the third quarter as Benton chipped away at the Trojan lead, scoring 17 points in the third quarter and 18 points in the fourth quarter, nearly tripling their first half production. Hielman was the leading scorer for the Bobcats with 14. Despite a spirited comeback, the Bobcat efforts were not enough to overcome the 23 point deficit they faced at halftime. The Trojans maintained control and never let the gap get greater than nine. Wiebel nailed a three pointer with 1:29 left in the game, but the Trojans went on to win comfortably 59-47.
Commenting on the Trojan's upcoming match-up against Center Point-Urbana Coach Keahna remarked, "They are going to be tough. They have a girl that is tall and quick on her feet. We will have to adjust for that in Monday and Tuesday's practice. Right now, we just have to get (the girls) rested.