Trojans tear free of Rebels in second half
STATE CENTER – The developing maturity of a young West Marshall girls’ squad was evident in spurts during the first half Friday.
In the second half, Madisen Streeter and the Trojans’ growing confidence came out in full force.
Streeter poured in 17 of her career-high 19 points after halftime as the Trojans (7-11, 5-7) used a 19-0 run spanning the last two quarters to break away from Gladbrook-Reinbeck in a 49-30 NICL West Division rout.
“We got a little confidence as the game wore on and Maddie Streeter started to light it up. It makes our offense a little tougher to stop when we’ve got some inside-outside game,” West Marshall coach Fred Zeller said. “I’m sure they were keying on Gabby (Reyerson) most of the game but when you start hitting some 3s from outside and get some other people scoring, it changes the complexion of the game as far as how we attack.”
Reyerson added 14 points as the Trojans dictated the pace and found quality shots throughout the final 16 minutes to wear down the Rebels. West Marshall never allowed the Rebels to get their transition game going after the break as Gladbrook-Reinbeck went the final 10:28 without a field goal and scored just one point in the fourth to end an 8-minute scoring drought.
“(Streeter) hit some 3s that we weren’t expecting and she got hot. (Reyerson) is a handful anyway,” G-R coach Eric Crandall said. “We just missed a couple of shots and kept getting a little bit flatter and flatter as the game wore on. Their lead kept growing and we didn’t have anyone that could provide us a spark tonight.”
Britney Keller led the Rebels (7-9, 4-8) with 8 points, Amber Berendes added 7 and Nicole Adair had 6. G-R was seeking a season-best fourth straight win.
Mackenzie Coberley drilled back-to-back 3s to open the contest, but the Rebels responded with a 10-2 run to lead by two after the first quarter. Keller scored the final eight points of the first half for G-R to knot the game at 21 entering the break.
Streeter, who was averaging 6.2 points per game, hit a pair of triples in the third to create a three-point cushion before Ellie Stoakes answered inside to bring G-R within 30-29 with just under 2 minutes in the quarter. The Rebels wouldn’t find the basket again until Adair’s free throw late in the fourth as West Marshall started to pull away with a pair of baskets inside from Reyerson and a Streeter jumper. The sophomore added three more buckets in the fourth and later added her third triple to stretch the lead to 49-29 with 3 minutes to go.
Zeller was waiting for a breakout game from the 5-foot-8 Trojan.
“All year long we’ve been trying to get her shots and sometimes she’s a little hesitant to shoot. Tonight she got in a zone and wanted the ball and we were smart enough to get her the ball on a pretty consistent basis,” said Zeller, who saw a more confident club in the second half. “We looked like the early season team in our first half as far as taking care of the ball. In the second half we made sharper passes, better cuts and just played with a little more confidence with the ball. In the end, we probably wore them down a bit.”
West Marshall patiently moved the ball around the Rebels’ zone before finding the opportune moment to strike. With the size advantage in the Trojans’ favor, Crandall opted to stay in a zone, hoping the press would get the pace turned back in his team’s favor.
“When we’ve played man to man we’ve had a lot of problems with post players and they had two who were significantly bigger than us,” Crandall said. “I thought our press would create a little bit more. We got some turnovers and did some things in the first half, but in the second half we couldn’t score so we couldn’t set up the press.”
Coberley chipped in eight points for the Trojans and Addie Wilkinson tallied six.
The Trojans travel to East Marshall Tuesday, while the Rebels head to North Tama today and entertain Grundy Center Tuesday.
The Rebels won the previous meeting, 51-42, in Reinbeck on Dec. 20.