Warriors’ comeback quells Thunder

Meskwaki senior guard Geanna Bear scores the go-ahead layup in front of Grand View Christian defenders Riley Lane (31) and Haley Lane (43) during the waning moments of Monday’s non-conference girls basketball game at Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny. The Warriors rallied from a double-digit deficit to beat the Thunder, 49-47. -- Photo by Noah Rohlfing

Geanna Bear flew down the court, signaling she was open and waiting for the pass from her teammate and cousin, Wakinyela Bear. Geanna drove to the basket, side-stepped a defender in the paint and put up a right-handed scoop shot.

It fell through the basket, and 1.1 seconds later the Warriors sealed a 14-point comeback victory over Grand View Christian.

Meskwaki girls’ basketball (6-2) took home a 49-47 road victory over the Thunder (3-3) Monday night, coming back after trailing 37-23 with less than six minutes left to play.

Head coach Emmett Whalen said he was proud of the team’s fight after a frustrating third quarter.

“I was really impressed,” Whalen said. “They just kept fighting, kept fighting. We were throwing up a lot of bricks early in the game, just couldn’t get anything going. We kept fighting, got some turnovers and some easy buckets and chipped away little by little.

Meskwaki senior Wakinyela Bear shoots over the attempted block by Grand View Christian’s Riley Lane (31) during the second half of Monday’s game in Ankeny. Bear had 11 points in the Warriors’ 49-47 victory. -- Photo by Noah Rohlfing

“We were getting some good looks, we were just missing a lot of shots that sometimes go in.”

The Warriors trailed 14-8 after a cold-shooting first quarter but used a 6-0 run in the final minutes of the first half to tie up the Thunder at 18 heading into the second half.

After a brief moment in which the Warriors took the lead 20-18, the third quarter was a slog. Meskwaki had opportunities on the fast break and in the half court, but nothing seemed to be falling. Scoring just five points in the quarter, the Warriors went from up 20-18 to trailing 31-23 by the end of the quarter.

Early in the final quarter, a 6-0 run looked to have doomed the Warriors to defeat. Down 37-23 and without anything in the way of momentum, Whalen decided to press the Thunder’s ball handlers and called for a full-court diamond press. Less than two minutes later, the score was 37-32 and it was a game once again. With two minutes to play, the score was 41-41 and the Warriors were in a rhythm offensively, playing on the fast break and finishing looks inside.

The teams traded baskets and free throws to stay tied with less than 10 seconds remaining.

Whalen, without any timeouts, trusted his starting backcourt to find a good look for the Warriors.

“I’m pretty confident anytime Wakinyela and Geanna have the ball, they’re going to make the smart play either passing it or getting to the bucket,” Whalen said.

Geanna’s game-winning basket gave her 14 points, but it was Kalayna White with a game-high 16 points to lead the way for the Warriors. Wakinyela had 11 points of her own.

Meskwaki plays Tuesday at home against undefeated Baxter. Tip-off is at 6:30 p.m.

Meskwaki 49, Grand View Christian 47

MESKWAKI (6-2) — Wakinyela Bear 4 2-3 11, Geanna Bear 6 1-3 14, Sia Bear 2 0-2 4, Kalayna White 7 2-3 16, Summer Youngbear 1 2-4 4, Shye Johnson 0 0-0 0. TOTALS 20 7-15 49.

GRAND VIEW CHRISTIAN (3-3) — Delainey Murphy 1 0-0 2, Kelly DeMeulenaere 3 5-6 12, Riley Lane 5 3-6 14, Haley Lane 5 1-3 13, Kaycee Knode 0 0-0 0, Nay Fry 2 2-2 6. TOTALS 16 11-17 47.

MESKWAKI 8 10 5 26 — 49

GV CHRISTIAN 14 4 13 16 — 47

3-Point Goals-Meskwaki 2 (W.Bear, G.Bear), GVC 4 (H.Lane 2, DeMeulenaere, R.Lane). Total Fouls-Meskwaki 13, GVC 10. Fouled Out-none.