Royals lean on Riese to top ’Stangs

COLO – Caitlyn Riese matched her career-high with 22 points in a win over Clarksville Friday night, though Royals coach Wayne Cafferty saw many more opportunities where his senior center was open for the ball – but didn’t receive it.

Showing his team the tape Saturday before their game with East Marshall, the Class 1A No. 3 ranked Colo-NESCO girls basketball team applied that strategy early and often against the Mustangs for a 58-30 non-conference win.

Riese raised her career-best scoring total to 27 and also grabbed seven rebounds as the Royals (10-0) used a 12-2 run spanning the first two quarters to create enough separation.

“We showed them film before the game of all the times last night where she’s got position and we’re missing her,” said Colo-NESCO coach Wayne Cafferty. “If she’s one-on-one inside we want to be able to get her the ball because she’s going to outjump a lot of people in there. The kids learned from watching the film today and applied it in the game.”

Riese started the Royals’ run with a pair of putbacks and a 7-3 lead with 3 minutes left in the first lengthened to 19-5 in a six-minute span.

The senior scored six more points during an 11-2 flurry to close the half with 15 and surpassed her previous scoring high with an additional 10 points in the third.

“She’s a 6-1 athlete and she just keeps getting better,” said Royals coach Wayne Cafferty. “She’s getting stronger and more comfortable with what we do everyday.”

Shayla Dean added 15 points, 10 steals and six assists and Madison Farren tallied nine points, six rebounds and three assists to round out the Royals’ top trio of “go-to girls.”

Coming off a state tournament appearance last season, Colo-NESCO has rallied behind its leading triumvirate in hopes of a return trip to Des Moines.

“We work together really well,” said Dean of the team as a whole. “(Caitlyn) works hard inside and if she’s open, we get it to her. She can dominate inside on anyone.”

While Riese had her way in the paint much of the afternoon, East Marshall (1-8) found some effectiveness with its 2-2-1 zone to keep the Royals’ offense from fully taking off.

“We came out with way more energy today and did some things so much better than what we’ve been doing,” said Mustangs coach Missy Pieters. “We made (Colo-NESCO) work for everything and that was kind of our goal today.”

Offensively the Mustangs attacked the zone with more confidence Saturday after being tentative the night before and even though it resulted in three charges – Pieters was pleased with the improvement.

“I’ll take (the charges) given the fact that we’re attacking,” said Pieters. “The next time we do that we might not have such a good defender who’s in position so we’re learning a little from that.”

East Marshall clawed within 15 twice in the third quarter but never drew closer as Taylor Fricke led the way with nine points, while Ashley Allen and Meriel Leavy scored eight apiece.

The Mustangs will try to end their six-game slide Tuesday when they continue their four-game road trip with West Marshall before heading to Gladbrook-Reinbeck Friday. The Royals battle Northeast Hamilton on the road Friday.