North Mahaska coach L.E. Moore was a bit nervous entering Tuesday’s quarterfinal Class 1A basketball game against Sigourney. His fears were well-deserved early as Sigourney held a 22-18 lead after one period. After that point North Mahaska’s defense put the clamps on holding the Lady Savages scoreless in the second period and had only two baskets and five free throws in the next 15 minutes. End result, North Mahaska 68-47.
“I am so proud of these girls,” said Moore. “In the second quarter we adapted to get people moving and our people were everywhere on defense.”
Sigourney’s Ava Fisch dropped in a pair of 3-pointers in the final minute of the first quarter to break away from the host Warhawks. Freshman Aly Steil entered the game and dropped in a trey and a bucket while Breckyn Schilling and Sydney Andersen each scored twice as NM pulled out to a 33-22 halftime lead.
“They were letting us have the dribble-drive and we were able to take advantage,” said Moore.”
Carly Goodwin finally broke the scoring drought for Sigourney when she rang in a trey with 5:43 to play in the third. The Lady Savages would drop in five more free throws before Goodwin hit another triple at the 1:18 mark. North Mahaska finished with a Schilling 3-pointer for a 50-35 lead going into the final eight minutes.
The never-say-die Lady Savages closed the gap again when Rain Bathelman hit a basket and stole the ball for another. Zoe Webb hit a basket to pull Sigourney to 50-39. NM’s Steil answered with a basket and trey and Regan Grew chipped in a triple and two baskets. Goodwin managed two more buckets but could not pull her team closer.
Sigourney shot 13-for-46 from the field and 16-of-21 from the charity stripe. They committed 20 turnovers and scored 14 points off 14 North Mahaska miscues. North Mahaska shot just over 50 percent from the floor knocking down 26-of-54 shots. They were 10-of-16 at the foul line and scored 13 points off turnovers.
Four Warhawks hit double figures led by Schilling with 22 points. Andersen scored 12, Regan Grewe 11 and Steil finished with 10. Jessica Castaneda led in rebounding with seven. Grew recorded four steals and Schilling doled out seven assists.
Goodwin led Sigourney with 15 points.
North Mahaska, 19-3, will host Lynnville-Sully, 16-7, for the third time this season. The game will be at 7 p.m. Friday.
“It’s a rivalry game,” said Moore. “We know what we need to do to win. These are two good teams. We will have to play and see how it goes. It’s February. It’s basketball.”
The winner will face the winner of Burlington Notre Dame (18-6) and Winfield-Mount Union (20-1) in the regional final on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at a site to be determined.