No. 9 Colo-NESCO rocks North Tama

COLO – It didn’t take long for the Colo-NESCO girl’s basketball team’s full-court pressure to become effective Tuesday night.

The Class 1A No. 9 Royals applied plenty of defensive pressure against North Tama and converted the Redhawk miscues into easy buckets during a 60-21 victory during Iowa Star Conference action.

“That’s our game,” Colo-NESCO coach Wayne Cafferty said. “Both of our presses worked tonight. We have lots of speed out there and we are starting to learn the coverages better. They did a really nice job.”

The Royals led 18-0 after one quarter and scored the game’s first 26 points as they improved to 15-2 overall and 11-1 in Iowa Star Conference action.

“Colo has an effective press,” North Tama coach Phil Moss said. “We knew that coming in, but we just put ourselves in bad situations. Colo only does a few things out there, but they do them really well.”

The first bucket of the game did not come until three minutes in, but once the Royals got going, they didn’t slow down as it was 15-0 three minutes later and they took an 18-0 lead into the second frame.

The Royals scored the first eight points of the second frame thanks to a Madison Eley triple and pair of buckets inside the lane by sisters Cailtyn and Samantha Riese.

North Tama scored its first points when Allison Zobel hit two free throws with 2:38 to play until halftime. The Redhawks’ first field goal came at the 1:41 mark by Anna Kvidera.

“They use an effective 2-3 zone,” Moss said of Colo-NESCO’s defense. “You can beat any zone with four or five good passes but we were unable to make one or two good passes.”

The Royals led 33-5 at halftime and then took a 52-10 lead into the fourth quarter as they continued to apply plenty of full-court pressure.

After dropping its first game of the season, Colo-NESCO has now won 15 of its last 16 games, with its lone loss coming in conference play to No. 8 Meskwaki Settlement School.

“We’ve picked up our pace since the Christmas break,” Cafferty said. “They have picked up their efforts defensively and our ball movement offensively has been great. We needed to practice harder and play harder and we have, but we still have to get better because we’ll get a chance to play Meskwaki again.”

Caitlyn Riese led the Royals with 15 points and seven boards, while Eley added 13 points, four steals and four assists. Nine different players scored in the game. Shayla Dean finished with six points, eight steals and five assists and Madison Farren chipped in seven points.

“We try to be balanced,” Cafferty said. “We have had seven different girls reach double figures at some point in a game this year. And we seem to have a different player lead each night. We have a lot of options.”

Zobel scored seven points to lead North Tama, which dropped to 5-9 after the loss. Kvidera and Sam Zobel both scored five as the Redhawks snapped a two-game win streak.