It's not often a winning coach isn't thrilled after a 34-point victory.
However, it happened Friday night when South Tama's girls basketball team defeated BCLUW for the second time this season.
STC jumped out to a quick lead over the Comets and controlled the entire contest. The Comets made a quick run during the middle of the game that frustrated the STC coaches, but the Trojans righted the ship and cruised to an easy home victory. STC (9-8) won 67-33 over the Comets (1-16).
South Tama sophomore Erin Clayton (No. 42) scores a layup between several BCLUW defenders during the second quarter Friday night. Clayton scored in double figures for the Trojans with 12 points. The Trojans cruised to another victory over the Comets, winning 67-33.
"It was an easy win," coach Marsha Keahna said Friday. "We talked about playing fundamentally sound and to use it kind of as a practice session to get ready to play tomorrow against Union. So we told them what we wanted them to work on and they went out and did it in the first half.
"Then we came out a little flat in the third quarter, like we often do, so we called a time out," she said. "We told them that just because they aren't as good of a team, we can't get into their game and play sloppy. We wanted to keep doing all of those things and do what we did to get the lead, along with not playing passive."
The Trojans dominated the first quarter of action Friday. They held the Comets to a pair of field goals while making eight of their own. Senior Kaleigh Sieck led the Trojans with nine points in the quarter, while four other players scored as the Trojans built a 19-5 lead after the first eight minutes.
"We got a lot of fast break opportunities tonight with our defense," Keahna said. "As long as we convert on those, it's OK. We missed quite a few bunnies tonight."
BCLUW continued to struggle against the South Tama defense as it didn't score for more than five minutes into the second quarter. Sophomore Erin Clayton started the quarter with back-to-back buckets en route to scoring 12 points Friday. Senior Megan Wanatee also scored four points as STC increased its lead to 25 points with 2:43 left in the half.
"Erin stepped up tonight," Keahna said. "We needed that game for her. We put her in situations and expect her to perform. She has struggled at times with it, but she played great tonight."
BCLUW made a pair of free throws before scoring three buckets during the final minute of the half. Wanatee added the only points for STC as she hit a shot and made two foul shots. STC led 34-13 at the break.
South Tama regained control of the game in the third quarter by outscoring the Comets 16-7. Senior Jade Rohach scored six points and Sieck added eight points to help the Trojans offense. South Tama removed its starters from the game and emptied its bench with 1:19 left in the quarter.
Clayton was the Trojans only offense during the first five minutes of the fourth quarter as they struggled to make buckets. BCLUW only cut the margin to 27 points before the Trojans finished the game with a 9-2 run. Juniors Paige Van Dyk and Hailee Weiss each scored before junior Emily Martin finished the game with a layup and three-pointer.
"In the fourth quarter, it was nice to let the girls rest and let the other girls, who also work their butt off in practice every day like everyone else, to get some minutes," Keahna said. "That was nice for them."
Keahna admitted her players might not have played 100 percent Friday after beating the Comets 71-19 on Dec. 14 with a road game the next night.
"It's hard to stay focused in a game like this," Keahna said. "You have to keep telling them to play cut-throat, which you hate to say, but you almost have to have that kind of language for them to know that you want to keep that intensity up. Otherwise, they won't play 100 percent. I think they have tender spots in their hearts, because they know they beat them badly the first time. But you want them to give the effort for when they play those tougher teams like we will tomorrow."
South Tama traveled to LaPorte City to play Union on Saturday. STC trailed 28-19 at halftime before losing 62-55. Sieck led the team with 16 points, while Wanatee also scored in double figures with 13 points.
The big stat line in the game was free throws. Union went 24-of-46 from the line, while the Trojans made 13-of-18.
STC will play at Gladbrook-Reinbeck on Tuesday and at AGWSR on Friday.