Warriors break free of HLV
MESKWAKI SETTLEMENT – Meskwaki coach Heath Brown thought his team needed to settle down.
And for the Warriors, that often means speeding things up.
Scoring the last 13 points of the third quarter, the ninth-ranked Meskwaki girls’ basketball team rode its transition game to break away for a 75-46 victory over HLV in a Class 1A Region 5 quarterfinal game Tuesday.
Returning from a two-game absence, Kadyn Clark poured in a career-high 28 points and Dia Keahna had 25 as the Warriors (19-4) snapped their two-game skid. The duo combined for 31 of Meskwaki’s 37 second half points including all 17 in the third quarter where the home team stretched an eight-point advantage to 21 in a four-minute span.
Meskwaki advances to host Keota (15-8) in a semifinal game Friday at 7 p.m.
“I think they were a little jumpy and had to settle it down a little bit,” Brown said of his team’s first half performance. “We hadn’t played for about a week and so they were kind of fired up. We finally settled down and got control of the game.”
After Danielle Kunz brought HLV within 42-34 with 4:05 to go in the third, Clark and Keahna combined on five straight transition baskets. Keahna capped the flurry by drawing a charge before hitting two free throws to extend the margin to 55-34 entering the fourth.
“The second half, we call it our half,” Keahna said. “That’s where we start to pull away from the other team. That’s where we start to warm up.”
HLV (4-18) used some hot shooting early and several putbacks to limit Meskwaki’s fast-break opportunities in the first half. Taylor Tanner’s runner brought HLV within 25-22 midway through the second frame, though the Warriors closed on a 13-6 run to push their advantage to 10 at the break.
While HLV’s 2-3 zone cut off the driving lanes for Meskwaki’s speedy guards, Clark – who sat out the last two games due to academic issues – found plenty of room to work inside.
“(Kadyn) relieves the pressure off our guards,” Brown said. “She gives us a nice option down low.”
Clark had 10 points by halftime, while Tiana Thompson contributed 10 of her 12 in the first 16 minutes. Ryan Roberts added six points and Jazmyne Roberts chipped in four.
Meskwaki’s defense created offense in the second half and coincided with a cold streak for HLV, which allowed the Warriors to get back to what they do best – running.
“We use the length of our court to our advantage,” Keahna said.
“In practice all we do is run, run, run.”
Kunz paced HLV with 20 points, while Abigail Schafbuch had 12 and Tanner tallied 11.
Clark averaged 9.1 ppg this seasonKeota swept HLV this season by margins of 60-26 and 49-41. … Friday’s winner advances to the regional final Monday at 7 p.m. in Newton. … The other regional semifinal pairs eighth-ranked Colo-NESCO against BGM in Colo. … HLV High School comprises the towns of Hartwick, Ladora and Victor and is located in Victor. … Three of Meskwaki’s four losses have been decided by two points. … Coaches from Wartburg, Ellsworth and DMACC spoke with Keahna and Thompson after the game.