Warriors fall off Thunder’s pace

Meskwaki senior guard Taurice Grant (3) attacks the basket as Grand View Christian defender Daniel Tobiloba (34) protects it during the first half of Monday’s non-conference boys basketball game at Meskwaki Settlement School. Grant scored a team-high 16 points in the Warriors’ 68-52 loss.

MESKWAKI SETTLEMENT — The Warriors had not played perfectly, but being within five of Grand View Christian at the half should have been cause to think a win was possible if a few things broke Meskwaki’s way.

Instead, the Meskwaki boys lost 68-52 to the Thunder and suffered a first loss of the season.

The first quarter was filled with tight, quick action and ended with the Thunder leading 13-12. Taurice Grant scored seven of his team-high 16 points in the opening period as the teams felt each other out.

The biggest obstacle offensively for Meskwaki was in the paint — where Grand View Christian’s 6-foot-11 center Daniel Tobiloba was waiting to impact any shot inside 10 feet. Instead of their normal layups at the rim, the Warriors were often forced to resort to floaters or difficult jumpers to prevent getting their shots blocked. Tobiloba got his hand on a number of layup attempts in both halves, while much of Meskwaki’s joy came from outside the arc, although the shots were not consistently falling.

Defensively, though, is where the cracks began to show late in the first half. Meskwaki gave up 14 first-half points to Josh Baucum, and the guard would go on to score a game-high 24 and hit four 3-pointers.

Head Coach Garrett Bear said Baucum’s performance was partly down to bad game-planning and bad execution on defense.

“We should have had Taurice on him from the beginning,” Bear said. “In our pick-and-roll coverage we were letting him get to the baseline side instead of making him use the screen, which funnels him to the middle of the court where we had help and that was both coaching and individual.”

Trailing by five, the Warriors were still in the game. But a 7-0 run out of the break put Grand View Christian up double-digits, and from there the lead did not get back under 10 points. Using Tobiloba effectively inside on offense (he scored 16 points), the Warriors were kept at arm’s length.

The 3-pointer was the key offensive weapon for Meskwaki — 11 makes compared to just eight from inside the arc, with Evan Nelson and Tiernan Wanatee burying three each. Osceola Tyon and Grant hit two apiece. Tyon and Nelson scored 11 points while Wanatee scored nine.

Nelson and Wanatee hit shots aplenty in the fourth quarter, but the press Meskwaki had to employ was feast or famine. The Warriors created some turnovers, but gave up baskets when the Thunder broke the press.

This first loss of the season, to a big-name opponent, gave the Warriors the early-season test they needed in order to improve, Bear said.

“This did amp up and let us know, we do have fight in us,” Bear said. “But we’ve got to have that motivation and drive every single game. Not just try to play up for the big games, we’ve got to have that consistency across the board through the season.”

Meskwaki hosts Colo-NESCO Tuesday night in Iowa Star South action.

Grand View Christian 68, Meskwaki 52

At Meskwaki Settlement

GRAND VIEW CHRISTIAN (4-1) — Alandis Arrasmith 3 1-2 8, Josh Baucum 8 4-8 24, Caleb Parlee 4 0-5 8, Jonny Gatto 4 1-1 12, Daniel Tobiloba 8 0-0 16, Josh Sanderson 0 0-0 0, Eli Tarbell 0 0-0 0, Noah John 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 27 6-16 68.

MESKWAKI (3-1) — Osceola Tyon 4 1-1 11, Larnell Bear 2 0-0 5, Taurice Grant 6 2-3 16, Dayvin Guevara 0 0-0 0, Tiernan Wanatee 3 0-0 9, Evan Nelson 4 0-0 11, Bishop Chavez 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 19 3-4 52.

GVC 13 18 18 19 — 68

MESKWAKI 12 14 8 18 — 52

3-Point Goals-GVC 8 (Baucum 4, Gatto 3, Arrasmith), Meskwaki 11 (Nelson 3, Wanatee 3, Tyon 2, Grant 2, Bear). Team Fouls-GVC 11, Meskwaki 17. Fouled Out-Nelson.