North Mahaska’s No. 12 girls’ basketball team had a close call Friday when they traveled to Sully for their meeting with their long-time rival Lynnville-Sully. Kayla Readshaw’s steal with a handful of seconds left to secure a 49-47 victory. The win keeps the Warhawks undefeated in the South Iowa Cedar League play.
The contest between the two rivals is always a night of excitement. Add in North Mahaska’s ranking, a packed gymnasium and a chance to spoil a conference championship and you have the recipe for an emotional night.
The game was a back-and-forth affair with L-S leading 10-9 after one period. The Hawks moved out to an 18-17 lead when North Mahaska went on a scoring spree to gain a 25-18 lead capped off by a Readshaw steal, basket and free throw with a minute to play in the half. NM led 27-19 at the break.
North Mahaska built a 12-point lead but in the fourth quarter Majesta Vos of Lynnville-Sully scoring six points as the Hawks closed the gap. With 37 seconds left they had pulled within one point, 48-47. In a span of six seconds NM went 1-for-5 at the free throw line. LS was working at the top of the key when Readshaw slapped the ball away to seal the win.
“Kayla really does a nice job coming off the bench,” said coach L.E. Moore. “I know she would like to start but she gives us such a spark. She has quick hands.”
Readshaw played down her role.
“I just knew I had to be smart and not foul,” said Readshaw. “I needed to stay calm and read her eyes, so I knew which way she was going to go.”
Breckyn Schilling led the NM offense with 15 points. Sydney Andersen and Libby Hargis each had 12. Readshaw finished with five, all coming off steals.
North Mahaska was 20-for-58 from the field and 7-of-14 at the foul line. The Warhawks turned the ball over 12 times to 25 for LS.
LS was led in scoring by Vos with 14 and Greenlee Smock with 11.
North Mahaska (17-1, 13-0) can finish no worse than a tie for the conference title. A win Tuesday against Montezuma (15-2, 12-1) will give NM the outright title. NM will complete the regular season hosting Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont on Feb. 6.