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North Mahaska used a strong defense and closed out with free throws to upend Grundy Center 53-46 in nonconference play Monday. The No. 7 Warhawks hit 12-of-16 free throws while Grundy Center went 4-of-8 to help make the difference.

The game came down, in part, to a battle between North Mahaska junior Breckyn Schilling and Grundy Center’s Carlie Willis. Each girl led their respective teams in scoring. Schilling led all scorers with 24 while Willis had 18.

Schilling opened the game with a 3-pointer and following Regan Grewe’s bucket Sydney Andersen added two baskets and a free throw to give the Warhawks a 10-2 lead. Schilling added two more baskets as NM led 17-11 after on period. Grundy Center opened the second period on a run to pull within two points. NM pulled away again to lead 27-24 at halftime.

Grundy Center (2-1) opened the second half to tie the game at 27-27 on Willis’s basket and a free throw by Kali Aldrich. Then it was Schilling’s turn hitting two 3-pointers and another basket in a minute and a half. That led to a 43-34 lead entering the final quarter.

RD Keep/North Mahaska Communications Photo
North Mahaska’s Breckyn Schilling makes a drive down the lane in the first half of the No. 7 Warhawks’ game with Grundy Center. Schilling poured in 24 points to help NM to a 53-46 victory.

“This was a good strong win against a talented team with good speed,” said NM Coach L.E. Moore. “Our defense really stepped up to make this a team win. I am pleased with our effort against a quality team.”

North Mahaska has opened the season with some challenging teams including perennial power Montezuma, Grundy Center and will host Lynnville-Sully on Friday.

“We are going to find out what we are made of in the first couple weeks of the season,” said Moore. “We have a lot to work on we had too many turnovers tonight, but our shooting was better and we hit free throws.”
Moore was pleased with the offensive output from Schilling.

“She generates a lot of things for the team with her play,” said Moore. “She opened the door for other players to work and our defense was strong.”

In addition to her scoring, Schilling added six rebounds and four assists. Grewe also reached double figures with 14 points, eight rebounds, seven steals and two assists. Sydney Andersen just missed double figures with nine points.

North Mahaska’s defense forced 21 turnovers, 14 came off NM steals, but committed 18 themselves. Grundy Center was forced to foul in the closing minute and NM hit five straight free throws to secure the victory.