Bolts overwhelm Warriors in Iowa Star clash

T-R PHOTO BY NOAH ROHLFING - Deandra Navarro (2) shoots during Meskwaki’s Iowa Star Conference contest with Baxter earlier this week.

MESKWAKI SETTLEMENT — Baxter laid its cards on the table early on Tuesday night. The Bolts put the Meskwaki girls’ team on the back foot in the first quarter and coasted to an 80-37 victory over the Warriors.

Meskwaki (0-2) struggled with turnovers in transition, a difficult situation for coach Emmett Whalen due to the Warriors’ interest in getting up the court quickly.

He said the way Baxter imposed itself really posed issues for the Warriors.

“They’ll pressure you and make you earn everything,” Whalen said. “The second you start turning the ball over they’ll start scoring and keep pressuring you. They got us to turn it over and got us to take our effort down a notch. They just ‘gut punch, gut punch, gut punch,’ and they took our will from us, man.”

Early and often the Bolts were first to the offensive glass and got second-chance opportunities. Leading 24-9 after the first quarter, the Bolts also did a good job of getting into the bonus and earning trips to the free-throw line.

In the second quarter things continued to go the way of Baxter, as the Bolts were hitting 3-point attempts that the Warriors were counting on them missing to get in transition. The halftime score was 47-16, and from there the second half became little more than a formality.

Meskwaki played Baxter closer in the second half — only getting outscored by 12 points — but offensive consistency was still hard to come by. The leading scorer for Meskwaki was senior Deandra Navarro with 15 points, and Geanna Bear scored 10. Navarro hit three 3-pointers.

It’s been a difficult start to the season for the Warriors. After playing one game before Thanksgiving, the Warriors were struck by COVID cases on the team and then that was compounded by the school going virtual for three days after Thanksgiving. The disjointed start has without a doubt made things more difficult.

Still, Whalen is not looking for excuses. He said he was frustrated by what he saw on the court and hopes watching film with the team can help them find more will.

“Even with [everything], the effort should be there,” Whalen said. “And it’s not right now. I hope we can watch the film and watch us jogging back and them sprinting and we can realize what it takes to win.”

Meskwaki hosts Gladbrook-Reinbeck Friday night in its next game. The Rebels won their season opener on Monday against BGM.