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January 23, 2023, has been circled on the calendar by Montezuma coach Janelle Burgess and North Mahaska’s L.E. Moore since Dec. 13, 2022. North Mahaska had topped the Bravettes on Monte’s home floor 50-44. Tuesday night, the two teams still battling for a league title met in New Sharon with Montezuma upsetting the No. 11 Warhawks 59-44.

In December North Mahaska held Monte’s Mia Boulton to 12 points but Tuesday the Monte senior exploded for 32 points including four 3-pointers. Monte hit seven long shots in the contest.

Turnovers and post play proved an Achille’s heel for North Mahaska. NM turned the ball over 20 times to just 12 for the Bravettes. Monte’s post players Kallie Robison and Shiressa Wetering puled down nine rebounds including five on the offensive end that led to second chance opportunities.

North Mahaska (17-2, 13-1) trailed in the first period and much of the game. Breckyn Schilling drilled a 3-pointer with 27 seconds to play to tie the game at 10-10 at the end of the first break. The back and forth game went to halftime with Monte up 24-23.

Schilling hit a lane runner with 5:04 to play in the third period then hit a foul shot for the first NM lead, 31-28. The Warhawks extended it to 35-28 before the Bravettes went on 13-2 run to close out the quarter and hold a 41-37 lead. In the final frame Monte went 6-for-7 at the foul line to seal the contest.

The loss means Montezuma (16-2, 13-1) and North Mahaska share the 2022-23 South Iowa Cedar League crown, an outcome neither team wanted.

It was not just Boulton’s scoring prowess that proved too much. She collected five steals and three assists. Wetering also finished in double figures scoring with 10 with four rebounds. Robison scored six and had five rebounds.

Schilling led North Mahaska with 17 points, six rebounds and four assists. Regan Grewe had nine points and Kayla Readshaw with seven. Sydney Andersen had five points, five rebounds and blocked a shot. Jessica Castaneda pulled down five rebounds.

Both Montezuma and North Mahaska will face Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont in nonconference action before heading into tourney play Feb. 9. EBF is undefeated and ranked fourth in Class 2A. Monte plays at Eddyville Friday while NM hosts the Rockets on Monday.