Meyers drives Spartans through Meskwaki
MESKWAKI SETTLEMENT – Scoring a career-high against “The System” is one thing.
Achieving the feat again – against a top-10 ranked team – the following day is quite another.
Grundy Center’s Sam Meyers accomplished both pouring in a career-best 39 points to help the Class 1A No. 7 ranked Spartans handle No. 8 Meskwaki 78-60 in non-conference play.
Meyers, who tallied a then-personal best 30 points against Gladbrook-Reinbeck’s helter-skelter attack Friday night, seemed no worse for the wear against the Warriors, nor did her teammates.
“I was so proud of them,” said Grundy Center coach Al Jones, whose squad picked up its sixth win in seven games, while snapping the Warriors’ eight-game win streak.
“We got on the floor less than 24 hours after playing Gladbrook-Reinbeck in a wild contest so they deserve a lot of credit for rebounding.”
The Warriors (15-2) made a rebound of their own in the third quarter closing a 15-point halftime deficit to 48-46 with two minutes left in the third. Tiana Thompson capped an 8-0 run – that took less than 90 seconds – with a pair of layups as Meskwaki trailed by six entering the fourth.
Meskwaki pulled within six twice more, the last time coming on another layup from Thompson with 6:15 left, before Meyers took over scoring eight points in a three-minute span to push the Spartans’ margin back to 68-54. The Warriors came no closer than 12 the rest of the way as Meyers capped her career night with 16 points in the fourth and seemingly always had an answer when Meskwaki threatened.
The Warriors just didn’t have an answer for Meyers.
“She’s just quicker than other post players we’ve played in the past,” Meskwaki forward Kadyn Clark said.
“She moves a lot more.”
Meyers and the Spartans (13-3) made their move early in the first following a 10-0 run with a 12-1 spurt to lead 24-12 entering the second. Meyers tallied 11 of her points in the first as Grundy Center stunted the Warriors’ transition game with their full-court pressure defense.
“We’re not afraid to play full court man-on-man,” Jones said.
“Normally everyone plays (Meskwaki) in a zone and drops back. … We just tried to press them down the floor and make them earn every inch.”
Meskwaki found a few fast break chances in the second, but the Spartans continued to keep the Warriors’ top scoring tandem of Dia Keahna and Thompson in check by cutting off their driving lanes.
“We knew we just had to get back and talk to each other on defense,” Meyers said. “We always had to know where everyone was at and make sure we were matched up.”
Keahna, the 2nd leading scorer in Class 1A (21.7 ppg), got going in the third with 12 of her 20 points as the Warriors took advantage of some foul trouble for Heather Hook and Jessica Ackerson. Thompson tallied 18 for the Warriors going 10-for-14 from the line.
Grundy Center’s Hook added 17 points and Katie Lindeman had 15 – including a key pair of back-to-back treys to give the Spartans a double-digit advantage early.
The Spartans took care of business at the line connecting on 24-of-33, including a 17-for-25 effort from Meyers. The Warriors made 16-of-24 as the teams were whistled for a combined 36 fouls with Keahna and Clark both fouling out for Meskwaki.
The Warriors continue their six-game homestand hosting North Tama Tuesday, while the Spartans extend their road trek against Dike-New Hartford that same night.